You’ve had your identity stolen, now what?
March is Fraud Prevention Month. This is a time when you’ll likely feel a sudden urge to change your passwords, shred your documents and check all of your accounts. These are all great prevention tactics, however, that feeling of “But, surely this couldn’t happen to me?” can lead us to be a little too relaxed in our approach to fraud prevention. Well it can happen and it’s estimated that Canadians lost over $290 million to fraudsters from 2014 to 2016. Also, 40 percent of all data stolen from data breaches in 2016 was Personal Financial Information. This is why it’s important to know the proper steps to take if you suspect you’ve been victimized.
Kevin Haarhoff, Senior Investigator of Corporate Security at Envision Financial, a division of First West Credit Union, says “Identity theft can be a very emotional experience, but it’s important to remain calm and act quickly. By taking the proper steps to address the fraud, the risk of damage done can be greatly reduced.”
What to do
- Gather all of the information that you have about the fraud.
- Alert your financial institutions and credit card companies as soon as possible.
- Contact the two national credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on your credit reports.
Equifax Canada– 1-800-465-7166
TransUnion Canada- 1-877-525-3823
- Contact your local police and file a report.
During the month of March, Envision Financial experts will provide information, tips and advice relating to fraud prevention and identity theft.
Coming up next week: The CRA scam—what is it and how to avoid it.