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.
Immediately contact the fraud departments of each of the credit bureaus listed on the back of this guide. Alert them that you are a victim of identity theft, and request that a fraud alert be placed in your file.
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 or other loans.
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.
Many law enforcement agencies encourage victims of identity theft to report their situation to PhoneBusters. PhoneBusters is a Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre managed jointly by the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP), the RCMP and the Competition Bureau Canada. PhoneBusters plays a vital role in the collection and dissemination of victim evidence, statistics, documentation and tape recordings which are made available to outside law enforcement agencies.
BANKS AND CREDIT CARD ISSUERS
Report the theft to your credit card issuers and request replacement cards with new account numbers. Ask your bank to close affected accounts and obtain new account numbers there as well. If you have cheques stolen, you can also ask your bank to stop payment on any cheques about which you are unsure.