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August 23, 2018

Beware of scammers posing as staff from the Privacy Commissioner’s office

We have become aware that telephone scammers have been impersonating employees of the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada.

The scammers have contacted a number of individuals, asking them to provide their Social Insurance Number.

It is not the practice of our office to call people who have not filed a complaint with us and ask for sensitive personal information. 

If you have not previously been in touch with our office and the caller asks for personal information, we strongly encourage you not to provide it. If you’re unsure, you can contact our Information Centre to check.

Some of the OPC’s key tips to help reduce the risk of identity theft and other types of fraud include:

  • Don’t give personal information such as a credit card number or Social Insurance Number over the phone unless it’s to a trusted person or you initiated the call yourself.
  • If someone calls unexpectedly and requests your personal or financial information, try calling the organization they are representing to verify that the request is legitimate. Reputable firms never ask for personal information without significant safeguards.

The Competition Bureau’s Little Black Book of Scams also offers more information on identity theft and other types of scams.

You can report deceptive telemarketing to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. If you believe you may be the victim of fraud or have been tricked into giving personal or financial information, contact your local police service.

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