A woman from Calgary received a nasty surprise for Christmas this year after the scammers allegedly used her name and credit history to buy a luxurious Land Rover in Kelowna, British Columbia.
Alana Higgins found out about the vehicle and the huge loan that she had been hanged on her only when she received a letter from the Bank of Nova Scotia, which said that she was in debt. However, she first ignored the letter because she does not have Scotiabank accounts.
“Currently you get so much spam, and among it, there are often letters from different banks,” Higgins explained. “I just pushed the notice aside to look at it later.”
According to Higgins, bank employees told her that the loan was issued at a Land Rover dealership center for more than $ 156,000. The alleged fraudsters provided what looks like a tax return, but without a social security number, to prove creditworthiness.
They also used British Columbia’s driver’s license as an identity card - despite the fact that a loan was issued to Alberta. Wyant Group, the company that owns Land Rover Kelowna refused to speak under for the record when asked to explain what happened in this case?
In a statement, Scotiabank reported that they have strict internal controls and processes for loans like this, but declined to explain what documentation is required to get a high-cost loan and what could have gone wrong in Land Rover Kelowna.
Higgins reported fraud to the Calgary police service. She says the police told her that the vehicle identification number was not registered anywhere in Canada at the beginning of December.
At the time of publication, a six-figure loan was submitted to a collection agency. Higgins works with the bank and the credit bureau, and she believes she will not be responsible for the loan or the missing car.
Experts say that identity fraud can occur using information that is often easily accessible.
“Many people assume that identity theft requires something like your social security number or pin number for your debit or credit card,” said Jessica Hanson, account manager at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center. But Hanson notes that such basic information as your name, address, and date of birth can be used by scammers.