Identity Theft FAQ for Canadians

Identity Theft Canada >> What to Do If You Have Been a Victim of Identity Theft

What to Do If You Have Been a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity theft is present when your personal information is used by someone in order to steal your identity and commit theft. It may include the opening of accounts, taking money from them and incurring debt. If you find out that you are an identity theft victim, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the impact and to make sure that such fraud will not take place in the future.

    The following steps should be taken to ensure that identity theft will not be a case in question the next time:

  • Every institution or card issuer that you believe may have provided data to the identity thief or has provided him with goods, services, or money should be contacted. Require that they investigate what has happened in your view, cancel the cards in question and close the accounts affected by the fraudulent activity. Inform yourself whether the company requires documentation in a written form in order to start investigation, on the basis of your identity theft claim. Are they in the need of particular additional information and do they accept identity theft statements?

    The identity theft statement and any related and required information should be sent to the company promptly.
  • Both Canadian agencies for national credit reporting should be contacted. These are Equifax Canada and Trans Union Canada. Obtain a copy of your credit report from each agency and ask them if it is necessary to put a fraud alert on your file. It will prompt creditors to contact you by phone before any new accounts are opened or prior to the change of existing ones. If there are other companies at which the identity thief opens accounts (alternatively, if he incurs debt on your name), the credit report will reveal the abuses.
  • The local police department should also be notified of the fraud. Request a police report and ask for its number for reference. Include this report with your financial institutions` correspondence, other companies, credit issuers, and credit reporting agencies.
  • The PhoneBusters national Call center should be notified of the incident. This institution collects information which relates to identity theft and provides assistance and advice with regard to identification of victims. PhoneBusters can be contacted on 1-888-495-8501.
  • Any stolen or lost document, issued by the government to a department or a ministry, should be reported and a new one requested. The signs which indicate that your identity has been stolen include: the late arrival of your bills and statements. It may be the case that they have been stolen from your mailbox or someone may have altered the mailing address on purpose; creditors and collection agencies call regarding an account that you know about. A new account on your name may have been opened by someone or you may find out that your account is charged without your consent and knowledge; Funds have been withdrawn or transfers have been initiated from your account; however, you have no information about them; you know you have not applied for a credit but you are contacted by a creditor who talks about the status of your application.

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