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Identity Theft and Identity Fraud Victim Assistance Guide

What should I do if I become a victim?

If you are victim of identity theft or identity fraud, you should immediately take some basic steps to prevent further crimes from happening and to restore your credit and good name.

Navigating through the system as a victim can be time-consuming and confusing. This guide should help start you off in the right direction.

Collect your thoughts

Stay calm. Make a list of all the identification information that was lost or stolen. Check your filing cabinet for records of credit card numbers, bank account information and government identification. Create a chart to enter and track the steps taken and the information provided.

Track all communications

As you contact law enforcement, financial institution and other agencies, keep track of the action you've taken for future reference.

Obtain a copy of your credit report

Contact both major credit bureaus and let them know you have been a victim of identity fraud:

Equifax Canada
1-800-465-7166

TransUnion Canada
1-877-525-3823

Request a copy of your credit bureau report – in certain instances, this report may be free of charge. Request that a "Fraud Warning" be placed on your credit file instructing creditors to contact you personally before opening new accounts in your name - these warnings remain on file for 6 years. Remember to contact and file fraud warnings with both bureaus.

Review your credit reports

Be wary of creditors who have opened accounts that you didn’t request, or creditors who have made inquiries on your credit report when you didn't ask for credit. Contact each of these creditors and describe your identity theft case. Ask them to:

  • Close any accounts you didn't open
  • Decline any new accounts you didn't request

Contact your local police

Report the theft of your identification information to your local police force. Ensure that you are given a report number and record it for future reference. Banks and creditors sometimes need proof of the crime to erase debts created by identity theft. Please note, it is not the police force's responsibility to recover money you've lost. Their function is to investigate criminal offences and lay charges when appropriate. Suspicious information found on your credit bureau report should be disclosed to the police.

Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC)

Report the theft or fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center by going to their website or by dialing 1-888-495-8501. The CACF is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on all forms of mass marketing fraud, including advance fee fraud letters (e.g. West African fraud letters), Internet fraud, identity theft complaints and others. The CAFC does not conduct investigations but provides valuable assistance to law enforcement agencies all over the world by identifying connections among seemingly unrelated cases. Your information may provide the piece that completes the puzzle. For more information, please visit the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

Review all of your bank and credit card statements

If you notice suspicious transactions on your credit card or bank statements, immediately contact the creditor or bank and file an Identity Theft Statement. The Identity Theft Statement will help you notify financial institutions, credit card issuers and other companies of your identity theft. It will tell them that you did not create the debt or charges in question and will give them the information they need to begin an investigation. Make as many copies of the Statement as you will need to notify all involved companies. The Identity Theft Statement can be accessed via the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. To print a copy, visit their website.

Notify credit card companies, banks and other financial institution and change all of your passwords

Call all credit card companies, creditors, banks and other financial institutions where you have accounts that may have been affected. Because it is vital to prevent any additional fraud from occurring, ask these institutions to help you to take the following steps:

  • Close every account that might have been compromised. Request that it be processed as "closed at the consumer's request".
  • Obtain replacement bank or credit card with a new account number and a new Personal Identification Number (PIN).
  • Put a "stop payment" on any stolen cheques.
  • Ask to have a password added to your account.

Notify Canada Post and utility and service providers

If you suspect that someone had your mail re-directed, notify Canada Post. Notify your service provider (telephone, cell phone, electricity, water, gas, etc.) of the identity fraud. Ask that any new requests for service first be confirmed with you.

Notify federal identity document issuing agencies

Immigration documents

The department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is responsible for the admission of immigrants, foreign students, visitors and temporary workers who help Canada's social and economic growth.

If your immigration documents have been lost or stolen, or if you suspect that someone is fraudulently using your immigration documents, please contact the CIC.

By phone
Toll free: 1-888-242-2100
TTY services: 1-888-576-8502
http://www.cic.gc.ca

Passport

A Canadian passport is a valuable document that should be kept in a safe place at all times. Once a passport has been reported lost or stolen, it is no longer valid and cannot be used for travel. This ensures that it is not used for fraudulent purposes.

If a passport is lost or stolen, the bearer is required to report the circumstances of the loss or theft to Passport Canada and to the local police. If you are outside Canada, you must report the loss or theft to the nearest Canadian government office abroad.

A request for a replacement passport can be made in Canada at any Passport Canada office or at the nearest Canadian government office abroad.

However, before the document can be replaced, Canadian authorities will conduct an investigation of the circumstances of the loss or theft. This may lead to delays in processing the replacement passport.

Contact Passport Canada:

  • By phone
    Toll free: 1-800-567-6868
    TTY services: 1-866-255-7655
    Outside Canada and the United States: 819-997-8338
    http://www.passport.gc.ca

  • In writing
    Passport Canada
    Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
    Gatineau QC K1A 0G3

  • By courier
    Passport Canada
    22 de Varennes Street
    Gatineau QC J8T 8R1

Social Insurance Card

If you suspect someone is using your Social Insurance Number (SIN) you should visit a Service Canada Centre and bring all necessary documents with you to prove fraud or misuse of your SIN. Also, bring an original identity document (your birth certificate or citizenship document). An official will review your information and provide you with assistance and guidance.

Contact Service Canada:

  • By phone
    Toll-Free: 1 800 O-Canada (1 800 622-6232)
    TTY: 1 800 926-9105
    http://www.servicecanada.gc.ca

  • By mail
    Service Canada
    Ottawa ON
    Canada
    K1A 0J9
    Att. Canada Enquiry Centre

Notify provincial / territorial identity document issuing agencies

If some of your provincial or territorial identity documents have been lost or stolen, or if you believe someone is fraudulently using this information, you should immediately contact the appropriate issuer to advise them of the situation. Provincial and territorial identification documents include your birth certificate, driver's license, health card and more. Information related to provincial and territorial identification card issuers can be found on the following websites:

Newfoundland and Labrador
Tel.: (709) 729-2600
www.gov.nl.ca

Nova Scotia
Toll Free: 1-800-670-4357
www.gov.ns.ca

Prince Edward Island
Tel.: (902) 368-4000
www.gov.pe.ca

New Brunswick
Toll Free: 1-888-762-8600
www.snb.ca

Quebec
Toll Free: 1-800-363-1363
www.gouv.qc.ca

Ontario
Toll Free: 1-800-267-8097
TTY Toll-free: 1-800-268-7095
www.gov.on.ca

Manitoba
Toll free: 1-866-626-4862
TTY: 204-945-4796
www.gov.mb.ca

Saskatchewan
www.gov.sk.ca

Alberta
Toll Free: 310-0000
TTY Toll Free: 1-800-232-7215
www.servicealberta.ca

British Columbia
Toll Free: 1-800-663-7867
TTY Toll-free: 1-800-661-8773
www.gov.bc.ca

Yukon
Toll free: 1-800-661-0408
TTY: (867) 393-7460
www.gov.yk.ca

Northwest Territories
Tel.: (867) 873-7817
www.gov.nt.ca

Nunavut
Tel.: (867) 975-6000
www.gov.nu.ca

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