In the last year millions of Canadians became victims of identity theft, a crime that cost them approximately $5 billion total. It is the fastest growing crime in Canada, and if you're not careful, it could happen to you, or perhaps it already has. On average, it takes identity theft victims 12 months to realize that they have been victimized.
Identity theft, sometimes called identity fraud, is the name given to a type of crime where someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person's personal data in some fraud or deception, usually for financial gain.
Today much of life depends on use of data that can be misused by unauthorized person. Information such as financial account numbers, credit card details, banking passwords etc are now vital components of everyday life and yet relatively easy to use for fraud if the fall into the wrong hands.
Equifax realizes this problem, and has developed the Credit Watchtm. Equifax Credit Watchtm makes protecting your identity easy by automatically alerting you of certain key changes in your credit report. The TransUnion Credit Monitoring product give you unlimited access to your profile and credit score, Identify suspicious activity to assist in protecting you against fraud and identity theft.
Equifax Credit Watchtm makes it easy by automatically alerting you of certain key changes in your Equifax Credit ReportT and Score- such as when someone tries to open credit in your name - so you can act before serious damage is done.
Monitoring your credit report for changes is one of the best ways to combat identity theft - and ensure the accuracy of what's being reported about you.
For just $12.95/month, Equifax Credit Watchtm provides:
Order Equifax Credit Watchtm today
- One time comprehensive view of your Equifax Credit ReportT
- Credit Score to see what creditors see when evaluating whether or not to extend credit to you
- Continuous credit monitoring with email notification of key changes to your file
- Quarterly credit updates that summarize key changes to your file
- Dedicated fraud specialists
- Up to $2,500 identity theft insurance at no additional charge to you (after $250 deductible)
Identity theft affects just about everyone these days. Every day there are reports of new identity theft rings being infiltrated, new data breaches that put hundreds of thousands of people at risk, and myriad other ways that your identity is put at risk. It's become a matter of not if, but when will your identity be compromised.
The best way to stay safe, then, is to proactively prevent identity theft. Use these 5 identity theft protection methods to ensure that your identity is as protected as possible. These prevention practices should become second nature. Once they do, your identity will be much safer.
1. Beware of Employment Schemes
Employment schemes have increased to the point that it's hard, now, to know what's safe and what's not when you're looking for employment online. Scams can be targeted at anyone looking for a job, and some of them are pretty sneaky.
2. Beware of Mortgage Schemes
It takes about 30 years to pay off a mortgage so you can own your own home. But it only take a few days for an identity theft to gain access to your mortgage, and maybe even ownership of your home. Learn about mortgage-related identity theft schemes before you become a victim.
3. Monitor Your Credit Regularly
Probably the fastest way to find out if your identity has been stolen is to check your credit report. Often, identity thieves will hit you in your pocketbook first, and sometimes their fraudulent activity will alert you that there's a problem.
4. Guard Your Bank and Credit Accounts
Many identity theft schemes are nothing more than criminals trying to get to your money. That makes your most vulnerable points your bank and credit accounts. Learn how to protect those areas of your identity to reduce your threat of being victimized by identity thieves.
5. Protect Your Virtual Identity
Identity theft has largely been a crime that happens in the real world, but the Internet is increasing your risk for identity theft dramatically. If you don't keep your virtual identity safe online, then it's almost guaranteed you'll become the victim of identity theft.
You get online access to one copy of your consolidated report of your credit history from Equifax Canada Inc. that you can continue to view as long as you are a member. This gives you a comprehensive view of your credit report history, and also makes it easier for you to verify the accuracy of the information.