The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) urges consumers to exhaust all measures to limit the risk of identity theft fraud. Consumers are encouraged to shred documents that include sensitive information, change passwords regularly, and keep personal information private. When contacted by any company, the CAFC encourages consumers to do their due diligence and refrain from sharing personal information to potential scammers. Furthermore, when someone becomes a victim of identity theft/fraud, they are urged to contact the credit bureaus to place an alert on their name. Albeit, what can a consumer do when victimization is out of their control?
In May 2017, Equifax was breached – leaving millions of consumers vulnerable to identity theft. Recent complaints with the CAFC have confirmed a new phishing email associated to the hack. Victims are receiving an email claiming to be Equifax, demanding victims call Account Security immediately to protect themselves. The email provides an email and phone number which are not affiliated with Equifax. Victims should take precaution when receiving requests from Equifax or any credit bureau.
Although consumers should be proactive by requesting copies of their credit files, monitoring bills and existing credit accounts or even requesting alerts from credit bureaus more frequently to monitor their file to prevent victimization, there are occasions when consumers must be reactive.
Warning signs - How to protect yourself
- Be wary of unsolicited emails, phone calls or mail asking for personal or financial information.
- Victims of the recent breach should place alerts with all credit bureaus.
- Stay current. Check your bank and credit card statements monthly and report any suspicious activity. Report any missing mail or statements right away.
- Shred all personal and financial documents.
- Obtain a credit report once a year for free through the two credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion.
Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
Competition Bureau of Canada
Ontario Provincial Police
Financial Consumer Agency of Canada
Better Business Bureau
(BBB Locator Tool)
Fraud: Recognize, report and stop it!
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