TORONTO -- A 21-year-old suspect is facing fraud charges after allegedly using a fake ID to impersonate a Whitby, Ont. man at a bank and drain $45,000 from his bank account.

According to police, the alleged fraud began in January of this year, when the suspect attended a CIBC branch in Brampton.

Using a fake ID with the name of a Whitby man, the suspect was able to obtain a replacement debit card, which then gave him access to the man’s bank accounts, police said.

In the days that followed, the suspect allegedly drew on the account to obtain a bank draft for $40,000 and also made cash withdrawals at multiple ATMs totaling $5,600.

The suspect then used private financial services to convert the bank draft and wire the $40,000 to an account in China, investigators said.

Police began looking into the incident in March after receiving information that the Whitby man had been impersonated.

Police said Wednesday that 21-year-old Yijie Xu of Toronto has now been charged with fraud over $5,000, possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000, identity theft, identity fraud and unauthorized possession of a credit card.

Durham police said they could not disclose how the suspect was able to obtain the information to craft the fake identity. However they did say that people should be checking their bank accounts frequently and should immediately report any suspicious activity.

Police could not say whether any of the stolen money will be recovered.