When someone obtains your information without your knowledge. Using information like your social security number, passport, or credit card fraudulently is called identity theft. Identity theft happens every time, which has become a source of paranoia for almost everyone.
Moreover, identity theft can be one of the causes why you are getting denied every time you apply for a loan, credit card, or even rent an apartment.
To fix your credit Canada is hard if you get involved with identity theft.
What are the signs of identity theft?
1. If you notice that your bills or statements don’t arrive when they’re supposed to, then they might’ve been stolen. Always empty your mailbox every day to prevent stealing your mail.
2. When a collection agency or creditor calls you for an account you didn’t have. That’s another red flag.
3. When a notification about a new account on your name or there are added charges, that is also a sign that your identity might’ve been stolen and used.
4. Upon checking your financial account statement, you notice withdrawals or transfers you didn’t make; that is also a sign.
5. If you received calls that you’ve been approved or denied credit that you haven’t applied for, well, there’s a chance that someone’s using your name.
Thieves are smarter than you think. They have various ways of stealing your information, no matter how careful you are.
The standard methods they are using are:
1. Stealing your mail
2. They search your trash for documents. Yes, they go to such lengths to steal information.
3. Tampering ATMs and card machines in shops to steal your banking information are also a standard method thieves use.
4. Do you have personal information on your social media in public? Well, that’s another way to steal your information. Being super transparent on your social media is not really a good idea.
If an identity thief gets a hold of your information and starts using your name to open accounts, this might be a problem. Additionally, you can encounter almost all the possible problems with your credit if someone uses your information to their advantage.
Generally, thieves look for:
1. Credit cards
2. Bank card and pins
4. Driver’s license
5. SIN card
For online, they look for
2. Online shop
3. Online banking
4. Credit card accounts
5. Government accounts
Thieves are so clever that they can hack your online details. Therefore, being extra careful when doing transactions online is a must. Do not click on links that are suspicious just because you are curious.
If you are sure, you are a victim of identity theft and have proven it.
Here are ways to deal with it.
1. Report to the police- have a police report proving that you are a victim and show it to your financial institutions and other companies involved.
2. Let your creditors know that you are a victim. They can cancel or freeze your transactions to avoid further damage.
3. Report the identity theft to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC)
4. Cancel any missing or stolen identification documents to avoid further damage.
5. Contract your credit bureaus to request a credit report. Check them thoroughly and make sure to dispute any incorrect information.
What does identity theft mean to you?
Many things can happen when your identity is stolen.
Not only are they using your own name to their advantage, but your hard-earned money and credit score can go down the drain.
In addition to that, it can significantly affect your credit score negatively. Identity thieves can use your account in any way they can without worrying about the consequences. They can open new lines of credit and not pay for them. Furthermore, as missed payments accumulate, the more your credit score decreases. That is why checking your credit report regularly is very important.
Recovering from a devastating event can be really distressing and emotionally exhausting. Disputing inaccurate information and contacting creditors are draining. Nevertheless, we need to do it to recover and start again.
How to recover from identity theft?
Secure your identity immediately. Ask credit bureaus to temporarily freeze your accounts. That way, the thief won’t be able to use your identity while you fix your problem.
Notify your bank and creditors about the transactions you’re unaware of. You might get new credit information and close the old one for good.
Updating your passwords also helps to secure your accounts.
Consulting credit repair professionals can also help with your credit problems.
Identity thieves have been lurking around, and if you are not careful, you can be their next victim.
Being extra careful is a must, especially regarding your personal information. Greedy individuals will not bat an eye at cheating on people.
Moreover, credit report repair services include helping you recover from such devastating events. You need to reach out if you feel like you’re getting too overwhelmed with your situation.