Identity theft can happen to anyone. Since more people are going online to shop, bank, file taxes, etc., there’s an increased rise of savvy thieves stealing the personal information of millions of consumers. Even if you’re careful, a thief may be able to attain your information by hacking into the systems of larger businesses, as millions of people learned last year with the Equifax data breach, which impacted more than just Americans; it impacted 100,000 Canadians as well. In this breach, hackers stole personal information and credit card numbers thought a consumer website application that was intended for US consumers. Equifax Canada’s systems were not impacted. Stolen information allows thieves to open bank accounts and lines of credit, open new credit cards and more. What can you do if you find out your information has been compromised?
THE RISE OF DATA BREACHES
(…) According to a recent study, more than 59 data breach incidents occurred in the first six months of 2017, exposing the personal information from approximately 2.1 million records. As a result, the Canadian government is considering new regulations that would require companies to report data breaches; at the provincial level, only Alberta currently requires companies to do so.
Additionally, even email providers aren’t safe from data breaches. It’s recently come to light that Yahoo’s 2013 breach, in which names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, passwords and security questions were stolen, impacted all of its three billion users including many Canadians. People were encouraged to change their passwords, as well as their security questions and answers.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE THE VICTIM OF A DATA BREACH
As we’ve seen, you may not know you’re the victim of a breach until you hear about it on the news. The first thing you should do if you suspect you’re a victim is check your credit reports from both Equifax and TransUnion Canada. The report is free if you request it by mail. The process may vary by credit bureau so refer to their websites for instructions.
Next, monitor your credit card and bank accounts for unauthorized activity and review each charge carefully. Equifax Canada allows Canadians to place an alert on their credit files. (…)
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR INFORMATION HAS BEEN STOLEN
Although credit card microchips have curtailed counterfeiting, thieves have become focused on opening new accounts with stolen information. From January 2014 to January 2016, Canadians lost an estimated $290 Million to fraud and scams. Older Canadians tend to be the largest target for thieves.
If you find out your information has been stolen:
- Contact the local authorities to report the theft (your bank and creditors may require this report number to recover your money)
- Continue to monitor your credit report for any additional unauthorized activity.
If your debit/credit card number has been stolen:
Contact the bank or credit card company to cancel the card and get a new one. Review all of your charges and contact the fraud department if you notice any fraudulent charges. **DON’T FORGET TO UPDATE AUTOMATIC PAYMENTS WITH THE NEW NUMBER**
If your bank account information has been stolen:
Contact your bank to close your account and open a new one and update automatic payments with the new account info.
If your driver’s licence information has been stolen:
Contact the Ministry of Transportation for a new licence. You will need to provide valid identification and pay a fee.
WHAT IF A CHILD’S INFORMATION HAS BEEN STOLEN?!
- Check with each credit bureau to see if they have a credit report
- Send letters requesting the companies remove all accounts, inquiries and collection notices in your child’s name or information
- Contact the businesses where the information was used
- Limit who has access to the child’s information
I hope you found all of this information useful! Please let me know if you have any more questions about this or about the Real Estate Market in Guelph and surrounding areas 🙂
source: 2018 Buffini and Company February IOV
YOUR Guelph REALTOR®
Krystal Lee Moore, Sales Representative
Royal Lepage Royal City Realty, Brokerage,
Independently Owned and Operated
214 Speedvale Ave. W.
Guelph, ON N1H 1C4
*Guelph Tribune Reader’s Choice Best REALTOR® PLATINUM Award 2017 & GOLD Award 2016***
I love to earn your referrals and appreciate you trusting me enough to help your friends, family and colleagues!
Why choose Krystal?
A PROUD Sponsor of Guelph Moms and Co., I have over 18 years’ experience in Sales and Customer Service, I am motivated, dedicated and consistently go above and beyond to make YOU feel important, valued and appreciated!
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*The above information has been compiled Buffini and Company’s 2018 Mailout