Recently, two residents of the Parkdale Community were victims of identity fraud. We at the Parkdale Community Association felt it was important to share some of the details, and remind you to be vigilant in how you protect your personal information.
These victims have had their mail intercepted – in the second instance a bank statement from a business account, in which a large sum of funds were in place. A summary of the latter case follows.
On October 31, at approximately 2:00 pm, this resident returned from the grocery store and witnessed a man in his 50s in the back alley, looking in the garbage and recycling bins. Thinking this person was homeless, the resident got out of her car and gave him a bag of groceries.
Later that day, the person showed up at the resident’s door wearing paint color on his face and an empty pillow case, asking for food. The resident recognized him and gave him a toy, which the resident typically hands out for Halloween.
A few days later, the resident heard her mailbox cover click and a few minutes later the resident opened the door to check for mail. To her surprise there was nothing in the mail box.
A few days after this incident, the resident received a letter from her bank, requesting the resident to destroy her existing bank card, and to immediately begin using the new card attached to the letter. The resident thought it was a bit unusual since her present card did not expire until 2018.
A few hours after receiving the letter, the resident received a phone call and the person on the phone identified himself as an employee of her bank, requesting information on the balance of the bank account. The resident quickly hung up the phone. The resident immediately placed a call to the bank and was advised that the bank did not send a letter and the new bank card was not authorized.
Approximately a week later, another man in his 50’s showed up at the resident’s door, asking for the resident by her name. The resident was cautious and cranked the side window open. She did not recognize the man at her door, so she did not open it.
After so many incidents over a three week time frame, the resident called her bank’s security office and the Calgary Police Service. She was advised that this was an attempt at personal identity fraud. The resident made the choice to get a post box at the local Post Office, to ensure safety of her personal information.
In the first instance, the resident was able to act quickly and avoided the trauma of the second resident’s incident.
The Parkdale Community Association takes this opportunity to thank the residents who shared their stories, and to remind everyone that special care should be taken when disposing of personal information. Please be sure to shred any papers that have personal information on them, and to report suspected crimes to the Calgary Police Service as quickly as possible.