When your private financial information gets into the wrong hands, the consequences can be devastating. If you should fall victim to identity theft, it is important that you act quickly. Contacting the correct agencies and filing the necessary reports will go a long way toward minimizing any damage to your financial well-being.
Who to Contact
Credit Bureaus: Immediately contact the fraud departments of each of the credit bureaus listed below. Alert them that you are a victim of identity theft, and request that a fraud alert be placed in your file.
Ask each agency to send you a copy of your credit report. You can also request a security freeze, preventing credit issuers from obtaining access to your credit files without your permission. This prevents thieves from opening up new credit cards.
Contact these credit bureaus in Canada:
- Equifax Canada Inc.
Consumer Relations Department
Box 190 Jean Talon Station
- TransUnion Canada
P.O. Box 338, LCD 1
Law Enforcement: Report identity theft to your local police department. If the crime occurred somewhere other than where you live, you may wish to report it to law enforcement there as well. The police will create an "identity theft report" and give you a copy.
Agencies Offering Additional Support
Finding yourself the victim of identity theft is stressful, but there is help out there for you.
Privacy Commissioner of Canada: For advice on privacy issues related to the identity theft (Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act-PIPEDA) contact the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (1-800-282-1376 or www.privcom.gc.ca). Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta all have separate privacy laws that are similar to PIPEDA, so if you live in one of these provinces, contact the corresponding Provincial Commissioner.
Consumer Measures Committee Identity Theft Kit: For advice on what to do if you think you are a victim of identity theft, visit the Office of Consumer Affairs Consumer Measures Committee online tool at http://cmcweb.ca/eic/site/cmc-cmc.nsf/eng/fe00084.html.
What Should You Replace? Consider replacing your ID cards like health, driver's license, or SIN by calling 1-800-O-Canada. An agent will be able to direct you to the appropriate federal and provincial organization to replace each of your cards.
Trouble with Your Mail? If your mail is missing, contact Canada Post at www.canadapost.ca (1-800-267-1177).