With all the advances in electronic communications over the past years, consumer privacy has become a very important issue. You must guard your personal information at all times.

It is possible for people who obtain very basic personal information about you to drain your bank accounts or charge purchases to your credit cards. They could even open new accounts in your name, costing you a great deal of time and money. They can also bombard you with unwanted solicitations and marketing.

By taking some simple precautions, you can go a long way towards guarding your privacy, finances and peace of mind.

  • Ask manufacturers, catalogue or magazine subscription companies, charities and others with whom you do business not to sell your name to others for marketing purposes. Also, be sure to check their privacy policy.
  • When companies ask for your social insurance number (SIN) or for personal information that is not essential for the transaction, ask them why they need it. Be wary about giving out your SIN. While there are no laws preventing businesses from asking for it, you are only required to give it out for a very few specific reasons, such as for tax purposes. For more information, please consult the SIN number fact sheet on the website of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner.
  • Don’t give anyone your credit card or bank account numbers unless you’re making purchases with them and don’t put credit card numbers on your cheques.
  • When filling out warranty or other information cards, don’t include optional or unnecessary personal information.
  • Check out companies promoting sweepstakes, contests and prize offers before deciding to do business with them or releasing personal or financial information.
  • Always check your credit card, cellphone, telephone and other bills to make sure that all the charges are for items that you authorized.
  • When using a credit or debit card, don’t leave the receipt behind.
  • Shield your personal identification number (PIN) when using a debit card.

For information on guarding your privacy and personal information, please consult the Consumer Identity Theft Kit prepared by the Consumer Measures Committee.

Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada

112 Kent Street
Place de Ville Tower B
3rd Floor

Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 1H3

Telephone: 613-995-8210
Toll Free: 1-800-282-1376
Phone (TTY): 613-992-9190
Fax: 613-947-6850


Industry Canada

Canadian Consumer Information Gateway

Office of Consumer Affairs
235 Queen Street

Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0H5

Fax: 613-952-6927


Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

6th Floor
427 Laurier Avenue West

Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B9

Telephone: 613-996-5454
Toll Free: 1-866-461-FCAC (3222)
Phone (TTY): 1-866-914-6097
Fax: 613-941-1436


The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre

Box 686

North Bay, Ontario  P1B 8J8

Telephone: 1-705-495-8501 (Overseas and Local)
Toll Free: 1-888-495-8501


Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)

RCMP Public Affairs and Communications Services

Headquarters Building
1200 Vanier Parkway

Ottawa, Ontario  K1A 0R2

Telephone: 613-993-7267
Fax: 613-993-0260