What to do if your Identity is Stolen
There are over 14,000 cases a year of identity fraud in Canada. - Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Identity fraud doesn't show any signs of slowing down. Large companies and even some countries have been hacked leaving personal information like passwords and account numbers vulnerable. Even something as simple as using free wi-fi at a cafe can be a danger spot for nearby hackers. Recently, products are being made and designed that have barriers that protect you from people with scanners who can simply walk by and scan your debit card or passport.
So what do you do if this happens to you? And how do you even know when it has?
SIGNS YOU'RE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT.
If you're suddenly getting calls and emails regarding a line of credit or a credit card you didn't apply for, take action. Or if you apply for credit and are unexpectedly turned down, you need to investigate further.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU FIND OUT SOMEONE'S STOLEN YOUR IDENTITY
If you think that you are a victim of identity theft or you know for sure that you are, report it. Here's how in 4 easy steps:
Contact your local police force to file an official report.
Contact your bank/financial institution and all your credit card companies to let them know what has happened.
Place a fraud alert on your credit reports by contacting TransUnion Canada (www.transunion.ca).
Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca)
PREVENTION IS THE KEY
Just like you're careful when you use your debit card and punch in your PIN number, be as vigilant with all of your personal and financial information. Tear up receipts and don't leave your phone unlocked.