A woman is facing more than a dozen fraud related charges after allegedly using fake IDs to access bank accounts that did not belong to her.

How to protect yourself from identity fraud:

  • Never give your credit card number out over the phone if you have not initiated the call.

  • Ensure any documents containing your personal information, including financial statements, are shredded before disposing of them.

  • Treat your social insurance card and birth certificate as you would any valuables and store them in a safe place.

  • When making purchases online, ensure the site you are buying from is a secure site and a privacy policy is posted.

  • Carefully check your monthly statements for any unauthorized transactions.

  • Deposit outgoing mail in Canada Post mailboxes or at your local post office.

  • Remove mail from your mailbox promptly after delivery.

  • File change-of-address notices with Canada Post and all of your financial institutions before you move.

  • If credit card or utility bills fail to arrive, contact companies immediately to make sure your mail is not being fraudulently redirected.

  • If you are away or can’t pick up your mail, ask a trusted neighbour to collect it or file a hold mail request with Canada Post.

  • Contact the post office if you have not received mail for an unusual period of time.

On Wednesday, police were called to the Quinpool Road Royal Bank location after staff became suspicious of a customer in the bank.

Officers found that the woman in question had fake identification on her and was attempting to access a bank account that did not belong to her.

The suspect was arrested without incident.

Upon further investigation, police discovered that the woman was suspected of defrauding other financial institutions earlier in the day.

The 42-year woman from Mississauga, Ont. faces a total of 14 fraud-related charges including three counts of using forged documents, two counts of identity fraud, six counts of identity theft to gain advantage, and three counts of fraud over $5,000.

The woman was held overnight and was scheduled to appear in Halifax provincial court on Thursday.

Police said there is an ongoing investigation and more charges are anticipated.

"Identity theft is a reality and has become more common with advancements in technology," said Const. Pierre Bourdages in a news release.

"It involves the unauthorized collection and use of personal data, usually for criminal purposes. Essentially, criminals can use your personal information — your name, date of birth, address, social insurance number, credit card information and other banking details — to create a false identity to open bank accounts, secure credit, obtain utilities and services, rent vehicles, equipment or accommodations and even get a job."