Identity Theft

Identity Theft

The offence of identity theft and identity fraud are outlined in sections 402.2(1) and 403(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of identity theft when they have another person’s identity information and intend to use it to commit a crime that includes fraud, deceit, or falsehood.

A person commits the offence of identity fraud when they pretend to be another person or when they use another person’s identity information as if they were that other person to gain an advantage for themselves or another person, to obtain property, to disadvantage anyone, or to avoid arrest or prosecution or otherwise obstruct justice.

Examples

Person A uses other people’s identity information to file and claim their income tax returns.

Person B uses person C’s health card to obtain healthcare services for free.

Person D takes person E’s debit card and identification to person E’s bank and withdraws all of person E’s money.

Cases

R. v. Abdulle, 2016 ONSC 6796

In R. v. Abdulle, the accused was convicted of one count of identity theft when he was found to have identity information belonging to other people that he was using to create fraudulent refugee sponsorship applications.

R. v. Camara, 2019 ONSC 115

In R. v. Camara, the accused was convicted of one count of identity fraud when he placed his photograph on another person’s driver’s licence to pass as this other person and evade a warrant for his arrest.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Lack of Intention

Where the person does not intend to use the other person’s identity information to commit a crime of fraud, deceit, or falsehood, they may not have completed the offence of identity theft.

For example, where person A obtains person B’s identity information to help person B sign up for a college course, person A has not completed the offence of identity theft.

No Personation

Where the person does not use the other person’s identity information to pretend to be that person or as if they were that person, they may not have completed the offence of identity fraud.