You may know how to prevent identity theft from happening to you, but do you know what you should do if it does happen? There are some important steps that you should follow if your identity is stolen.
Contact your local national credit bureaus (Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada) to place a fraud alert on your credit report. A fraud alert is vital since it requires companies to verify your identity before issuing a line of credit and prevent thieves from opening new accounts under your name.
If your thief opened new accounts, contact your creditors and notify them of the fraudulent activity. They will close your accounts and ask you to complete a fraud affidavit. Your creditors will also tell you how long your thief has been operating under your identity and how much of your money was stolen.
Next, contact your local police department and file a report. A detective will be assigned to your case and ask where the charges occurred, how much money was spent, and how your identity was stolen (e.g. Internet, lost wallet).
It’s in your best interest to change all of your passwords that you use online because your thief may have accessed your personal details through your password-protected accounts. Try to use a different password for each of your accounts and avoid saving your passwords on your computer.
Visit your local registry agent office in person to get a new driver’s license if you have lost your wallet or if you suspect that someone is using your driver’s license. Even if you just renewed your license, you need to take a new picture and pay all of the regular fees.
Remember to record all of the important details relating to your case, such as the names of creditors, companies, employers, and detectives. Fraud affidavits may require your detective’s name and the case number. You should also write down the date, time, and a short summary of any discussions. Keep this information in a safe place until your case is closed.