Identity Theft occurs when someone has stolen your personal information and has or attempted to obtain financial products in your name.
Identity theft is a growing problem in Toronto and around the world. This phenomenon involves the capture of your personal information to obtain financial products in your name. The most critical pieces of information you need to safeguard are your name, date of birth and your social insurance number.
What are the signs your personal information have been compromised?
- A collection agency informs you they are collecting on an account in your name you never applied for
- You notice you no longer receive all your mail including credit card statements
- You receive letters and/or telephone calls informing you that you've been approved for credit products you never applied for
- A creditor advises you that a credit application has been received with your name and address on it which you never applied for
If you think your personal information has been compromised, consider the following:
- Start taking detailed notes about what has occurred and what steps you've taken
- Contact the fraud/security department of your creditors for any accounts that have been opened or tampered with. This includes utility companies, credit card companies, banks and other lenders
- Ensure a "fraud alert" be placed on all your files immediately
- Contact the two main Canadian credit bureaus: Equifax: (866) 828-5961 and Trans Union: (800) 663-9980