8 Steps to Prevent and Recover from IDENTITY THEFT

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Discovering that you’ve been a victim of identity theft can be scary, leaving you wondering what to do next and who you can rely on for help. Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to restore your credit and prevent identity theft from occurring again.

8 Steps to Prevent and Recover from IDENTITY THEFT
  1. Stay calm, and collect your thoughts. Take some time to make a list of all personal information that was lost or stolen. You’ll need to gather credit card numbers, bank account information and government identification. Since you’ll need to refer to this information within the months ahead, create a chart or spreadsheet where you can track the status of your progress and steps taken to protect yourself.
  2. Obtain a copy of your credit report from both major credit bureaus, and inform them that you’ve been a victim of identity theft. Request that they place a fraud warning on your credit file, which will instruct creditors to personally contact you before opening any new credit accounts in your name. The following are the names and phone numbers of the credit bureaus:
  3. Equifax Canada: 1-800-465-7166
  4. TransUnion Canada: 1-877-525-3823
  5. Review your credit reports, and look for accounts that you did not request, as well as creditors who’ve made unsolicited inquiries. Contact those creditors if you notice anything suspicious, and inform them of your identity theft. Instruct them to close the accounts that you did not open and to decline any new accounts that you did not request.
  6. Inform your local police. They will file a report—make sure you obtain a copy of it so you can show it to banks and creditors who sometimes need proof of the crime in order to erase thefts.
  7. Contact the Canadian Anti-fraud Centre (CAFC). The CAFC is the central agency in Canada that collects information about fraud and connects it to other cases—potentially preventing someone else from becoming a victim.
  8. Change all of your online passwords.
  9. Notify Canada Post, as well as utility and service providers if you suspect that your mail may have been redirected.
  10. Notify federal and provincial/territorial identity document issuing agencies. These include Passport CanadaService Canada, and any other provincial and territorial identification card issuers.
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