Spotting Identity Theft Signs sub-tab
Knowing identity theft signs can help you protect yourself from this crime. While identity theft is always difficult, if it's caught early, you can minimize its damage to your reputation and financial health. Unfortunately, some people don't realize that their credit contains inaccuracies caused by the activity of identity thieves. Credit identity thieves use your personal information to apply for credit in your name, leaving you to deal with angry creditors and collectors.
Here Are Some Common Indicators of Identity Theft:
- Unfamiliar activity on your credit reports: Regularly monitor your credit reports to look for new and unfamiliar accounts. If you see that unauthorized or unfamiliar activity has occurred, contact the credit bureau that issued the report right away.
- Unexpected charges on your credit or bank account statements: Don't toss your bank and credit card statements without reviewing them. Review each charge and call your bank or credit card company to question any purchase that you don't recall making.
- Letters or phone calls from unfamiliar creditors or bill collectors: If you start getting phone calls and letters from unknown creditors or bill collectors, take action. An identity thief may have used your identity to open accounts and make purchases, leaving you with the bills. Children and the elderly can also be targets of identity thieves that operate in this way, so look out for similar communications to your children or to relatives in your care.
- Inability to access online accounts: If you suddenly can't access bank or credit card account websites, contact your financial institutions immediately by phone. Someone may have stolen your passwords in an attempt to take over your accounts.
If you notice these identity theft signs, contact your local law enforcement agency and file a report. You should also notify credit bureaus, credit card companies and financial institutions to inform them about your situation, reverse any charges and remove inaccurate information. As a precaution, you may also want to place a fraud alert on your credit reports, which help provide you with an additional layer of protection against an identity thief.
Preventing Identity Theft sub-tab
- Monitor your TransUnion Credit Report regularly for unauthorized activity by using our myTrueIdentity solution. If you find any information not pertaining to you, contact the creditor and question the account and/or inquiry.
- Do not carry your extra credit cards, birth certificate, SIN card or passport in your wallet or purse except when necessary. This practice minimizes the amount of information a thief can steal in the case of a lost wallet/purse.
- Install a lockable mailbox at your residence to reduce mail theft.
- Never discard credit card receipts or other documents containing personal information in a public trash container; use a shredder.
- Never leave your purse or wallet unattended at work or in church, restaurants, fitness clubs, parties or shopping carts. Never leave your purse or wallet in open view in your car, even when your car is locked.
- Limit the number of credit cards you have and cancel any inactive accounts.
- Never give any credit card, bank, or Social Insurance information to anyone by telephone — even if you made the call — unless you can positively verify that the call is legitimate.
- Safeguard your credit, debit and ATM card receipts. Shred them before discarding.
- Scrutinize your utility and subscription bills to make sure the charges are yours.
- Memorize your passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) so you do not have to write them down. Be aware of your surroundings to make sure no one is watching you enter your PIN.
- Keep a list of all your credit accounts and bank accounts in a secure place. This makes it easy to quickly call the issuers to inform them about missing or stolen cards. Include account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments.
- Do not discard pre-approved credit offers in your trash or recycling bin without first tearing them into small pieces or cross-cut shredding them. Dumpster divers can use these offers to order credit cards in your name and mail them to their address. Always do the same with other sensitive information like credit card receipts and phone bills.
- Under Consumer Reporting legislation, if you believe any item on your credit report is inaccurate or incomplete, and you notify us, we will verify the information at no cost to you. We do not accept disputes from third parties unless accompanied by a notarized power of attorney that authorizes a licensed attorney or a family member to represent you, or if the power of attorney is unlimited and irrevocable.
- Review your TransUnion Credit Report periodically and check for any unauthorized activity. Should any information not pertaining to you show up on your credit report, contact the creditors and question the account and/or inquiry. If you have questions, contact the other major credit reporting bureau.
Identity Remediation sub-tab
Once you realize that you are a fraud victim, you need to contact various government, credit/financial institutions, and credit agencies. To make the process as manageable as possible, we have prepared the following procedures to help you resolve any problems with your creditors, amend fraud information on your credit report, and help prevent any further fraud.
Obtain and review a copy of your credit report.
Review your TransUnion Credit Report for any unauthorized activity. If you find any information not pertaining to you on your credit file, contact the creditors and question the account and/or inquiry. If you have questions, contact TransUnion.
Report the fraud.
Contact government agencies such as Service Canada if someone has used your Social Insurance Number to apply for government services. It is recommended that you also contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report regarding the fraudulent activity. For confirmed cases only, contact The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (Phonebusters) to report the incident.
Contact your credit financial institutions.
Contact companies that you have relationships with and inform them that your accounts with those companies may be compromised.
Contact the companies on your credit report that you do not recognize. Verify with the company the information they have in their records for the reported item.
Provide the creditor with a copy of your police report; you may need an Affidavit or relevant documentation.
Keep a log of all related phone conversations, including names of people with whom you spoke.
Placing a fraud alert
Add a fraud alert to your credit file if you have been notified by a creditor's fraud department, Government agency or law enforcement regarding fraud to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also add a statement to your file if you had your wallet lost/stolen or had a home break-in. This statement alerts the creditors who obtain your credit file of the fraud and, if applicable, to contact you before approving credit applications. This statement is retained on your credit file for six years from the date it was added, or until you request its deletion in writing.
The addition of a fraud alert to your credit file may assist you in reducing the likelihood of future fraudulent applications resulting in the extension of credit in your name. However, it is important to recognize that, subject to applicable law, credit grantors have the discretion to decide what steps they will take (if any) when they see the fraud alert on your credit file.
To place a potential fraud alert on your credit file, please click here.
Follow up with companies and agencies that you have contacted to ensure that their investigation resulted in your favour. By working with credit grantors directly to identify all fraudulent accounts, you can greatly reduce this crime's effect on you.
Regularly review your credit.
Monitor your TransUnion Credit Report regularly for unauthorized activity by using our Credit Monitoring solution. If you find any information not pertaining to you, contact the creditor and question the account and/or inquiry.
Print this list of phone numbers to use and keep for reference during your fraud resolution process.
Correspondence in English:
Consumer Relations Centre
3115 Harvester Road, Suite 201
Correspondence in French:
Consumer Relations Centre
3115 Harvester Road, Suite 201
Equifax Credit Information Services
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 190 Jean Talon
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
P.O. Box 686
North Bay, Ontario
TransUnion Identity Protection Specialists
If a credit grantor's fraud department, law enforcement or a government agency has informed you that you are a confirmed/true name victim of fraud, TransUnion can connect you with one of our Identity Protection Specialists. In order to place a confirmed fraud warning on your credit file and discuss identity restoration process, please call 1-800- 663-9980 and select option 4 for an agent to assist you.
ID Theft Insurance sub-tab
ID Theft Insurance
If you have any questions regarding the identity theft expense reimbursement insurance available to you for stolen identity events (“Insurance”), would like to get a summary of benefits or wish to file a claim, please contact 1 833 699-0248 for assistance.
You may be insured for expenses related to a stolen identity event:
a) that is first discovered while the Insurance is in effect;
b) if you report the stolen identity event to us as soon as you discover it (but in no event later than the number of days after the stolen identity event is first discovered by you that is set out in the summary of benefits 1); and
c) while you are a program member, actively enrolled in the myTrueIdentity membership program.
You will not be insured if the stolen identity event is first discovered:
a) before you are insured under the Insurance,
b) after termination of the Insurance; or
c) when you are not a program member in the myTrueIdentity membership program.
If the Policy is terminated or not renewed, the coverage will automatically cease effective that date, without notice.
1 AIG – in no event later than 120 days after the stolen identity event is first discovered by you. Certain underwriters of Lloyd’s, London and/or its affiliates – in no event later than 60 days after the stolen identity event is first discovered by you.