I recently had my mailbox broken into and my mail stolen while I was abroad.
Having done lots of research on who to call and what to say, I thought I’d compile a list for anyone else who finds themselves in this unfortunate situation.
File an online crime report. To find the exact link for this, Google “(your local police) + report crime”.
Give as many facts as you can in the limited space on the form. An officer will call you back to follow up and get more details but that may take a few weeks.
Check with the mail company whether they have held your mail for some reason. If not, file a report. Yes, another one.
Canada Post: 1-866-607-6301
Be warned that the person you speak to may be totally unhelpful and daft (Susan was it?) so if you are getting the feeling after a few minutes on the phone that you’re not getting anywhere, ask to speak to a supervisor.
Because it’s difficult to know what exactly was taken, here are the organisations you need to contact just in case the perpetrator is planning to use your identity to get a loan or something. I’ve included the numbers for Canadian residents but the list of organisations should be useful no matter where you live.
Credit Reporting Agencies
Any debt applications need to go through these companies so by letting them know, you should be able to prevent any suspicious applications. There may be a fee for this (the two below charge $5.65 each for the note which stays on your file for 6 years) but it’s a tiny price to pay for the peace of mind. The systems are automated and take at least 10 minutes each. Prepare to be a bit frazzled by the time you hang up.
Transunion: 1-800-663-9980, option 3
Equifax: 1-800-465-7166, option 2
We have five and a half major banks in the country:
- National Bank (the ‘half’)
List which ones you have any accounts – current or savings accounts, credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, car loans etc – and call them one by one and explain the situation. In this day and age you would think there is little someone can do with just a bank statement but a close friend of mine had a joint account opened in her name and her correspondence address changed!
Also think of any store cards that send you a paper statement that might have been stolen and inform them of the situation.
And while your on the phone with these places, consider switching to paperless statements.
Unless your Social Insurance Number has been used fraudulently by someone else, you will not be issued with a new one. If you suspect that it has been used, inform the relevant government offices immediately.
Service Canada: 1-800-622-6232
Canada Revenue Agency: 1-800-959-8281
Canadian Anti Fraud Centre
The government of Canada takes identity fraud seriously, as they should, and have set up the CAFC for this purpose. You can file an online report with the CAFC if you wish or call them at 1-888-495-8501