How To Spot Signs Of ID Theft

Identity theft is on the rise in Canada, with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimating one in five people will fall victim to identity theft. 

What is identity theft? There are different types of identity theft, but they all involve the theft of your personal information. Fraudsters can then use that information to empty your bank accounts, run up your credit card bills, or open new credit accounts in your name. 

How to spot potential fraud: Check your credit reports

Checking your credit reports regularly can be one of the best ways to spot potential identity theft. 

There are two nationwide credit reporting agencies in Canada that maintain consumer credit reports with information reported to them by lenders, creditors, and other sources. Some lenders may report information to both agencies, just one, or sometimes none at all.

To check your Equifax credit report, log in to your myEquifax account and click on the Credit Report link in the left navigation menu. You can review  the data in the different parts of your report, including your personal information (name, date of birth, address, phone number, etc.), accounts, and inquiries. If you don’t have a myEquifax account you can easily create one for free. 

What to look for

Look for any addresses, phone numbers, accounts, or inquiries you don’t recognize. For example, if you didn’t apply for that new credit card or open a line of credit, someone else might be using your information to get credit in your name.

If you have one of Equifax’s credit monitoring products, like Equifax CompleteTM Premier or Equifax CompleteTM Friends and Family, you’ll receive alerts about these kinds of changes on your Equifax credit report, which can help you spot potential fraud faster. We canalso help you recover if you have been a victim of identity theft.

What do you do if it’s fraud?

If you have one of Equifax’s ID theft protection products, call us at 1-800-871-3250, Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, and Saturday and Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, to help begin the restoration process. 

If you don’t have an ID theft protection product, you can buy one today. Otherwise, there are several steps you should follow:

  • Report the identity theft or fraud to local police and get a police report number.

  • Contact both nationwide credit reporting agencies and inform them about the fraud. You can easily submit a dispute — for free — to Equifax to begin an investigation.

  • Place a fraud alert on both your credit reports. 

  • Report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501).

  • Advise your bank and credit card companies. Request new bank or credit cards.

  • Report any missing identity documents or cards — such as a driver’s licence, health card, or immigration documents — to the appropriate organization.

Consider these products:
Equifax CompleteTM Premier
Get Credit Alerts with Our Most Comprehensive Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection Product
$24.95 per month
Equifax CompleteTM Friends and Family
Get Credit Alerts with Credit Monitoring and Identity Theft Protection for Two Adults
$34.95 per month