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What to do if your personal information is compromised

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) issued a consumer alert May 29 to encourage consumers to take certain measures in the event that their personal information is breached. The alert follows the news that fraudsters are claiming to have hacked BMO and Simplii Financial client accounts.

To reduce the risk of harm, FCAC recommends that the following steps be taken by consumers if their personal information has been compromised:

  • Change your passwords immediately
  • Review your bank account and credit card statements on a regular basis to make sure they are accurate and contain no unauthorized transactions
  • Report any unauthorized transactions immediately to your financial institution
  • Order and review your credit report immediately. If there are accounts that you don't recognize, it could mean that someone is using your identity to apply for a credit card, line of credit, mortgage or other loan

FCAC has also advised taking the following steps if you become a victim of financial fraud:

  • Contact your financial institution and any other company where you think your account may have been compromised
  • Contact Canada's two credit bureaus, Equifax and TransUnion and ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit report file to tell lenders to contact you and confirm your identity before they approve any applications for credit
  • File a report with your local police
  • Notify the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (1-888-495-8501)

As published in The Insurance & Investment Journal by The IJ Staff May 29, 2018  11:30 a.m.