Knowing the signs of Identity Theft
Indicators of identity theft may include:
- Failing to receive bills or other mail;
- Receiving credit cards that you didn't apply for;
- Being denied credit, or being offered less favourable credit terms, like a high interest rate, for no apparent reason;
- Getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses about merchandise or services you didn't purchase.
If you have become a victim
If you've lost personal information or identification, or if it has been stolen from you, taking certain steps quickly can minimize the potential for identity theft:
Once you have taken these precautions, watch for signs that your information is being misused. If your information has been misused, file a report with the police, and file a complaint with PhoneBusters and RECOL. If another crime was committed—for example, if your purse or wallet was stolen or your house or car was broken into—report it to the police immediately.
- Financial accounts: Close accounts, like credit cards and bank accounts, immediately. When you open new accounts, place passwords on them. Avoid using your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Insurance Number or your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.
- Social Insurance Number: Call the toll-free fraud number of all three nationwide consumer reporting companies and place a fraud alert on your credit reports. An alert can help stop someone from opening new credit accounts in your name. Consumer reporting company contact information is listed below.
- Driver's licence/other government issued identification: Contact the agency that issued the licence or other identification document. Follow its procedures to cancel the document and to get a replacement. Ask the agency to flag your file so that no one else can get a licence or any other piece of identification from them in your name.