Ottawa (July 23, 2019) –An Ottawa lawyer became the victim of an identity thief. Using the lawyer’s identity and social insurance number, the fraudster opened a bank account with Scotiabank in Montreal, filed a tax return, changed the direct deposit information online and redirected the 65-year-old lawyer’s Canada Pension Plan payments to the new bank account.
When the fraudster changed the direct deposit information with the tax agency, he checked a box online that instructs the CRA to share his new banking information with Service Canada. So, his Canada Pension Plan payments were automatically redirected.
This is the second local resident to describe a similar incident in recent weeks, the Ottawa Citizen reports. Both were clients of the accounting firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. As a consequence, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton is collaborating with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to investigate
The Ottawa lawyer discovered the identity theft because he received a notification by the CRA that his bank account information had been changed online. The CRA strongly recommends taxpayers to sign up for security alerts online, that inform individuals about changes in their account like address or direct deposit information. The lawyer was lucky, he caught the incident early. This way, the CRA could recover the $30,000 and Service Canada has compensated him for the missed payment. Nevertheless, he wants to see the thief arrested and prosecuted.
Marina Burghard writes for Canadian Fraud News about fraud-related cases, whistleblower, jurisdiction, identity theft, consumer protection, etc. – essentially about scams and how to protect yourself against this kind of fraudulent criminal behavior. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science where her interest in criminology grew. Besides fraud, Marina’s scientific interest lies in terrorism, extremism and how to deal with it as a society.