Meet Deborah Oguntoyinbo — accused of being a professional and prolific identity thief

Police say she is one of the most prolific identity thieves they've recently encountered.

They say 26-year-old Deborah Oguntoyinbo, of Toronto, has left a trail of shattered lives and destroyed credit profiles.

A CBC News investigation has uncovered details about Oguntoyinbo, who is currently facing more than 50 fraud-related charges in Toronto as well as nearby York, Peel and Halton regions, according to court records. 

The charges relate to the alleged thefts of identities belonging to at least 20 people since 2017 alone. 

But there could be more, York Regional Police Sgt. Andy Pattenden told CBC News.

"She definitely would be considered a professional fraudster, knows what she's doing and [is] quite prolific," he said. "She's really been all over the [Greater Toronto Area]." 

Police services across the Toronto area are still piecing together the extent of her alleged crimes.

Money withdrawn, passwords reset

Oguntoyinbo's latest arrest came on June 29, when police allege she tried to flee a luxury condominium complex in Markham, north of Toronto, after being suspected of fraud.

York Region Police allege Oguntoyinbo tried to rent the condo using the name Natalia Bozic, and have charged her with using a forged certified cheque and a false identity.

Bozic, 24, a self-employed esthetician from Mississauga, Ont., says that someone used her personal information to get into her bank account, apply for loans and credit cards, change all her passwords and wreak havoc on her life.

She says she first noticed something was amiss when she couldn't log in to her RBC online banking account this past summer.

starnow.ca

"It was June 10th, and it told me to call the phone number listed. So I called them, and they told me to come into the bank."

The bank told her $1,200 was stolen from her account.  

That was just the beginning.

"They investigated and they put my account on freeze," she said, and assured her "nobody can put money in and nobody can take money out."

Yet, two days later someone walked into an RBC branch on Don Mills Rd. in Toronto and passed a teller a fake driver's licence with Bozic's name and correct licence number.

Bozic said the RBC teller issued the person a new bank card linked to Bozic's bank account.

Bozic believes the bank also provided the person her social insurance number.

That's when the alleged crimes became more brazen and widespread. 

Someone "reset passwords, reset security questions, reset my phone to a new phone number, created a new email address so I don't get notified my [banking] password changed."

Twice more, money was drained from Bozic's account. Some was sent to a bank account in Vancouver. In all, about $4,000 went missing, according to bank records.

John Lesavage/CBC News

Over the next five days, someone using Bozic's driver's licence and SIN applied for at least 20 bank loans, car loans and credit cards from financial institutions across the country.   

On June 17, someone accessed her Fido mobile phone account. Her phone number was changed, new phones were purchased, and Bozic was billed $2,000.

Someone also changed the passwords to her social media accounts.

Then, on June 19, Bozic received a letter from Scotiabank.

"It said, congratulations, I had leased a Range Rover," she said.

"Well, I was just thinking, what's next?" Bozic said. "They have my SIN number for life, they have my driver's licence for life. They have all the stuff to keep it going."

Dozens of fraud charges

Police in at least four Toronto-area jurisdictions have filed identity theft-related charges against Oguntoyinbo.

Peel police, just west of Toronto, wouldn't comment on their investigation. But court records reveal Oguntoyinbo is accused of stealing the identities of two people there.

Police in Halton, further west, have accused her of stealing the identities of 11 people.

Toronto police say they have two outstanding arrest warrants for Oguntoyinbo in connection with the thefts of two identities and other frauds. 

In York region, north of Toronto, police allege she stole four identities.

As part of their most recent investigation, York Regional Police obtained a search warrant for a condo complex at 50 Forest Manor Rd. in Toronto. 

Inside the 22nd-floor condo investigators found printers and paper stock they say Oguntoyinbo used to create fake certified cheques using others' names. 

She allegedly used some of those cheques to buy a Mercedes Benz and a BMW. 

They also seized numerous forged drivers' licences, social insurance numbers and passports in the names of other people.

Keith Whelan/CBC News

What we know about Deborah Oguntoyinbo

In 2017, Oguntoyinbo was charged with 19 fraud-related offences. She was sentenced to jail twice, the harshest sentence being 90 days.

She is currently behind bars as the latest round of charges work their way through court systems in the four jurisdictions. 

Her only online presence appears to be photos posted on the website starnow.ca, a site used by actors, models and musicians looking for work.

According to federal bankruptcy records and provincial databases Oguntoyinbo has no assets or liens registered in her name.

CBC News has learned police have a list of aliases they believe Oguntoyinbo has used to allegedly commit crimes.

They include:

  • Debra Omolade Oguntoyinbo
  • Deborah Ololade Oguntoyinbo
  • Kayla Wright
  • Dzoya Trotman
  • Jessica Wright
  • Ashley Bailey

RBC concedes mistakes

RBC  conceded it could have done a better job protecting Bozic's personal information. 

The bank has refunded the money stolen from her account.

"We did acknowledge to Ms. Bozic that, in this instance, our in-branch protocols for verifying a client's identity were not adequately followed, and explained how we would prevent this from happening in the future," RBC spokesperson AJ Goodman wrote in an email to CBC News.

But the bank also said Bozic is partially to blame.

"We understand that this has been a difficult situation for Ms. Bozic and we regret the frustrations she experienced. Ms. Bozic was the victim of an account takeover after her mobile device was compromised," according to Goodman.

Bozic disputes that, pointing out her RBC bank account was hacked seven days before her mobile phone was compromised. 

Bozic said she still has no idea how her online banking information was accessed; she said she's never lost her identification or been hacked before.

RBC has refused Bozic's request to provide her with credit monitoring services.

York Regional Police

"They said they were sorry for what happened and that should be enough," according to Bozic.

RBC declined to answer specific questions about why it won't offer Bozic any future protection.

Bozic said the situation has destroyed her credit rating. She was recently declined when she applied for a mortgage. Her once strong credit rating is no more.

She also wonders if, or when, her identity might be misused again..

She has since switched banks and said she'll have to check with credit bureaus every year to see if someone continues to fraudulently apply for loans in her name.

"I have to try and figure out if my information matches with their information," she said. "And if it doesn't, I'm screwed."