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What can I do if identity theft happens to me?
If you think your identity has been stolen, you should act quickly to protect yourself.
Identity theft can make things very difficult for you. You may have trouble getting approval for things like a bank loan, credit card, or mortgage, or even being able to rent an apartment. It can be very hard to improve your credit rating after your identity has been stolen.
You may also have to spend a lot of time:
- fixing mistakes on your credit report
- dealing with payments for things you did not buy
- closing accounts opened in your name
First, report the theft right away to the police. Then, when you report the theft to your bank and credit card companies, you can give them a copy of your police report.
You should contact Service Ontario to cancel any government-issued ID, such as your drivers’ license or health card, that may have been stolen. You should also report identity theft to Service Ontario if someone is using your SIN number without your permission. They can re-issue your identity documents for you.
You should also tell the consumer reporting agencies Equifax and Transunion to issue a fraud alert. This costs about $5.00 with each agency. You need to contact each agency separately to place a fraud alert on both your files.
When a consumer reporting agency issues a fraud alert, anyone who checks your credit report will see that your identity may have been stolen. This means your creditors can then take steps to check your identity when someone tries to use your identity or accounts.
If you aren’t certain whether your identity has been stolen, read about some of the warning signs of identity theft. Whether or not your identity has been stolen, you should try and protect your personal information.