4. Figure out if your identity has been stolen

What is identity theft?
This question has an answer and 4 steps
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4. Figure out if your identity has been stolen

Here are some warning signs that your identity may have been stolen:

  • You get credit card statements or bills in your name that are not yours.
  • You get phone calls or letters from collection agencies or creditors for accounts that you don't have or for things you didn’t buy.
  • Your bank or other financial statements show withdrawals, transactions, or transfers that you didn’t make.
  • Creditors call to tell you that you have been approved for or denied credit that you didn’t apply for.
  • Your credit applications are denied for unexpected reasons.
  • Your credit report shows a debt that you don’t recognize.
  • You don’t get bills or credit card statements in the mail, or you notice that you aren’t getting all the mail you usually get.

Check your credit history

Equifax and TransUnion are the 2 main consumer reporting agencies in Canada. Ask them to send you a copy of your credit report. Review the reports for accounts or debts you don’t recognize. If there are any, an identity thief may have used your name to open an account or borrow money.

To get a free copy of your report once a year, you have to fax or mail them a request and your report is mailed to you. You can also ask Equifax and TransUnion for your report online, but you might have to pay for it.

You should take action right away if any of this is true:

  • you think your identity has been stolen
  • you notice incorrect information in your credit report
  • your car or home has been broken into
  • you’ve lost something that has your personal information, for example, your computer, wallet or purse

Don’t wait for your bank or your credit card company to contact you. The question ‘What can I do if identity theft happens to me’ explains the steps you have to take.

You May Also Need

Consumer Protection Ontario
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Reviewed: December 31, 2016

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