Although credit card microchips have curtailed counterfeiting thieves have become focused on opening new accounts with stolen information. From January 2014 to December 2016, Canadians lost an estimated $290 million to fraud and scams.(3) Older Canadians tend to be the largest target for thieves; Canadians between the ages of 60 and 79 lost $28 million in scams during the same period of time.(3)
If you learn your information has been compromised, here are some steps to take to regain control of your information. In every situation, you’ll want to contact your local authorities to report the theft, as your bank and creditors may require a report number to recover your money. Also, continue to check your credit report and report any additional unauthorized activity.
If your debit or credit card number has been stolen:
• Contact your bank or credit card company to cancel your card and get a new one.
• Review all of your transactions and call the fraud department if you notice fraudulent charges.
• Update your automatic payments with the new card number as soon as it arrives.
If your bank account information has been stolen:
• Contact your bank to close your account and open a new one.
• Review your transactions and contact the fraud department to report false charges.
• Update automatic payments with your new information.
If your driver’s licence information has been stolen:
• Contact a registry agent for a new licence. You’ll need to provide valid identification and pay a fee.
Identity fraud: An underreported crime
Only an estimated five percent of fraud is reported to the authorities.(3) Why don’t more people report their information stolen? According to a recent study, they may feel too embarrassed. Others didn’t report because the amount stolen was so small, they didn’t want to go through the hassle. In other cases, there’s a perception that it’s not a “real” crime. The same research suggests that businesses don’t report data breaches because they don’t want to look vulnerable and damage their brands.(3)
1. The Globe and Mail
3. Competition Bureau