Larry Hurd was sitting in his media room, editing video on his i-Mac. It
was Wednesday morning. He was focussed on the business video he’d completed
for a website. His newly launched business, Manic Media, was taking shape
in his Gilford home studio.
He reached absently for the phone when it rang… “Larry Hurd. Manic
Media,” he answered. As the woman from President’s Choice Financial began
to talk, Larry interrupted her. “I’m not interested in a credit card,” he
“I’m not calling to sell you a credit card,” she responded. She was calling
because she’d had a call from a Larry Hurd with a credit card number. He
was trying to open a fido account and called President’s Choice to order a
It was a verbal application and the applicant answered all the Larry Hurd
questions correctly… name, address, phone number, social insurance number,
drivers licence, everything. But when the applicant stumbled a bit on the
mother’s maiden name, she picked up the signal and put them on hold and
called Larry Hurd, the supposed applicant, at his home.
Turns out her hunch was right. Larry was not applying for anything but
someone using his complete identity was applying vigorously… they’d
applied for the cell phone, for a couple of gas cards, and for the
President’s Choice charge card.
As the seriousness of what happened sank in, Larry found himself feeling
incredibly grateful to the sharp customer service rep from President’s
Choice. He was also glad he didn’t hang up on her. He also found himself
feeling really, really vulnerable.
Larry felt his financial history and his personal numbers were secure.
Everything he does is password protected. He still has no idea how someone
got hold of all of his data, but admits it wouldn’t take much. A misplaced
application, a Human Resources misfile… it’s really easy for someone to
find an identify and take a quick swipe at it.
Thus began a three-day nightmare as Larry contacted three credit bureaus to
flag his accounts. He applied for a totally new SIN as well as changing
passwords to online activities. Cancelling cards, re-affirmiing identity
with his drivers licence, health card, etc… lots of time ‘on hold.’
When the police visited his premises the next day, the officer in charge
warned Larry that protecting his information is so critical. These kinds of
thefts are often organized crime.
Larry says that changing a SIN is a complex matter as it has to be linked to
pension contributions, income tax, rrsp’s… everything!
“It could have been muich worse,” says Larry. “I’d have owed all that money
and I would have had to prove that it wasn’t me.”
“I’m incredibly grateful to the woman at PC financial. What a smart cookie
Just goes to show that living a simple life in Gilford with few
transactions, doesn’t give us all the protection we need.