Fraud Victims Resources

Learn how we can help you if you are a victim of fraud or read tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Welcome to TransUnion's Fraud Victim Assistance Department (FVAD). Learn how we can help you if you are a victim of fraud or read tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

Please note that TransUnion charges a non-refundable fee of $5.00 plus applicable taxes for a potential fraud warning statement on consumer credit files.

 

Preventing

Here are some simple ways you can help reduce your chances of becoming a fraud victim:

  • Monitor your TransUnion Credit Report regularly for unauthorized activity by using our Credit Monitoring solution. If you find any information not pertaining to you, contact the creditor and question the account and/or inquiry.
  • Do not carry your extra credit cards, birth certificate, SIN card or passport in your wallet or purse except when necessary. This practice minimizes the amount of information a thief can steal in the case of a lost wallet/purse.
  • Install a lockable mailbox at your residence to reduce mail theft.
  • Never discard credit card receipts or other documents containing personal information in a public trash container; use a shredder.
  • Never leave your purse or wallet unattended at work or in church, restaurants, health fitness clubs, parties or shopping carts. Never leave your purse or wallet in open view in your car, even when your car is locked.
  • Destroy all cheques immediately after you close a chequing account. Destroy or store in a secure place any courtesy cheques that your bank or credit card company sends to you.
  • If you move, do not have your bank send your new cheques to your home address. Tell the bank that you prefer to pick them up.
  • Reconcile your cheque and credit card statements promptly. Immediately challenge any purchases you do not recognize.
  • Limit the number of credit cards you have and cancel any inactive accounts.
  • Never give any credit card, bank, or Social Insurance information to anyone by telephone — even if you made the call — unless you can positively verify that the call is legitimate.
  • Minimize exposure of your credit card numbers. If the numbers are requested for cheque-cashing purposes, ask if the business has alternative options such as a cheque-cashing card.
  • Safeguard your credit, debit and ATM card receipts. Shred them before discarding.
  • Scrutinize your utility and subscription bills to make sure the charges are yours.
  • Memorize your passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) so you do not have to write them down. Be aware of your surroundings to make sure no one is watching you enter your PIN.
  • Keep a list of all your credit accounts and bank accounts in a secure place. This makes it easy to quickly call the issuers to inform them about missing or stolen cards. Include account numbers, expiration dates and telephone numbers of customer service and fraud departments.
  • Do not discard pre-approved credit offers in your trash or recycling bin without first tearing them into small pieces or cross-cut shredding them. Dumpster divers can use these offers to order credit cards in your name and mail them to their address. Always do the same with other sensitive information like credit card receipts and phone bills.
  • Avoid credit repair scams. If you are tempted to contact a credit repair company for help, use considerable caution. Only inaccurate information may be removed from your credit report; negative information that is accurate (such as a bankruptcy filing or a defaulted loan) will stay on your credit report as long as governing laws allow.
  • Under Consumer Reporting legislation, if you believe any item on your credit report is inaccurate or incomplete, and you notify us, we will verify the information at no cost to you. We do not accept disputes from third parties unless accompanied by a notarized power of attorney that authorizes a licensed attorney or a family member to represent you, or if the power of attorney is unlimited and irrevocable.
  • Order your TransUnion Credit Report periodically and check for any unauthorized activity. Should any information not pertaining to you show up on your credit report, contact the creditors and question the account and/or inquiry. If you have questions, contact the other major credit reporting bureaus.

 

Identifying

If a creditor's fraud department, government agency or law enforcement agency referred you to the Fraud Victim Assistance Department (FVAD), you may already know that you are a fraud victim. As well, you may have experienced a loss of personal information due to a theft or break-in. If you know that you did not cause the problem, but credit is affected, you are the victim of a credit fraud crime and you need to take certain steps to protect your rights.

Be aware of these common warning signs of fraud:

  • One of your creditors informs you that they have received an application for credit with your name and Social Insurance Number.
  • You receive calls or letters stating that you have been approved or denied by a creditor to which you never applied.
  • You receive credit card, utility or telephone statements in your name and address for which you never applied.
  • You no longer receive your credit card statements, or you notice that not all of your mail is being delivered to you.
  • Your credit card statement includes purchases that you don't recognize.
  • A collection agency tells you they are collecting for a defaulted account established with your identity, but you never opened the account.

Restoring

Once you realize that you are a fraud victim, you need to contact various government, credit/financial institutions, and credit agencies. To make the process as manageable as possible, we have prepared the following procedures to help you resolve any problems with your creditors, amend fraud information on your credit report, and help prevent any further fraud.


1. Obtain and review a copy of your credit report.
Review your TransUnion Credit Profile for any unauthorized activity. If you find any information not pertaining to you on your credit file, contact the creditors and question the account and/or inquiry. If you have questions, contact TransUnion.

2. Protect your credit report.
Add a fraud alert to your credit file if you have been notified by a creditor's fraud department, Government agency or law enforcement regarding fraud to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also add a statement to your file if you had your wallet lost/stolen or had a home break-in. This statement alerts the creditors who obtain your credit file of the fraud and, if applicable, to contact you before approving credit applications. This statement is retained on your credit file for six years from the date it was added, or until you request its deletion in writing.

The addition of a fraud alert to your credit file may assist you in reducing the likelihood of future fraudulent applications resulting in the extension of credit in your name. However, it is important to recognize that, subject to applicable law, credit grantors have the discretion to decide what steps they will take (if any) when they see the fraud alert on your credit file.

3. Report the fraud.
Contact government agencies such as Service Canada if someone has used your Social Insurance Number to apply for government services. It is recommended that you also contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report regarding the fraudulent activity. For confirmed cases only, contact The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (Phonebusters) to report the incident.

4. Contact your credit financial institutions.

Contact companies that you have relationships with and inform them that your accounts with those companies may be compromised.

Contact the companies on your credit report that you do not recognize. Verify with the company the information they have in their records for the reported item.

Provide the creditor with a copy of your police report; you may need an Affidavit or relevant documentation.

Keep a log of all related phone conversations, including names of people with whom you spoke.

5. Stop cheques and report your Social Insurance Number.
Notify your bank to stop cheques. You can also report stolen cheques to your financial institution and file a complaint with Service Canada.

6. Follow up.
Follow up with companies and agencies that you have contacted to ensure that their investigation resulted in your favour. The FVAD helps you to the fullest extent possible, but remember that you have certain responsibilities. By working with credit grantors directly to identify all fraudulent accounts, you can greatly reduce this crime's effect on you.

7. Regularly review your credit.
Monitor your TransUnion Credit Report regularly for unauthorized activity by using our Credit Monitoring solution. If you find any information not pertaining to you, contact the creditor and question the account and/or inquiry.

Contacts

Print this list of phone numbers to use and keep for reference during your fraud resolution process.
 
Correspondence in English:
TransUnion
Fraud Victim Assistance Department
3115 Harvester Road,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

800-663-9980

Correspondence in French:
TransUnion
Consumer Relations Centre
3115 Chemin Harvester,
Suite 201 Burlington ON L7L 3N8

877-713-3393

514-335-0374
(in Montreal)

Equifax Credit Information Services    
Consumer Fraud Division
P.O. Box 190 Jean Talon
Montreal, PQ
H1S 2Z2    
800-465-7166
514-493-2314


Supportive Agencies    
The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre
(PhoneBusters)
P.O. Box 686
North Bay, Ontario
P1B 8J8
888-495-8501

About the Fraud Victim Assistance Department (FVAD)

TransUnion's FVAD is the credit industry's first and most comprehensive department dedicated to helping credit fraud victims. It is a centralized TransUnion department dedicated solely to the detection, prevention and rectification of credit fraud. We assist and support all victims of fraudulent activity and put effective pre-emptive and remedial programs into place. Based in Burlington, Ontario, the FVAD works with consumers, credit grantors, law enforcement officials and other credit reporting agencies to help investigate and prevent credit fraud.

When credit fraud occurs, you and your credit grantors are both victims. Until the fraud is discovered, the fraudulently opened accounts can appear on your credit file. FVAD can help you identify the fraudulent accounts and/or inquiries, advises you of the creditors that need to be informed of the fraud, and works with the creditors to appropriately amend the information reported to your file.

Here are the steps FVAD takes to help prevent further fraud and correct the inaccuracies on your credit file resulting from the fraud:


1. After an FVAD representative verifies your identity, the representative advises you of any recent inquiries and/or accounts that are new to your file. If you are unaware of the inquiry and/or account, the representative provides the phone number for each. Moreover, the representative reminds you to notify the respective creditor of any fraudulent inquiry and/or account.

2. FVAD will add a fraud statement to your credit file, alerting the creditors who obtain your credit file of the fraud and, if applicable, to contact you before approving credit applications. This statement is retained on your credit file for six years from the date it was added, or until you request its deletion in writing.

The addition of a fraud alert to your credit file may assist you in reducing the likelihood of future fraudulent applications resulting in the extension of credit in your name. However, it is important to recognize that, subject to applicable law, credit grantors have the discretion to decide what steps they will take (if any) when they see the fraud alert on your credit file.

For confirmed Fraud Cases only, FVAD will request your consent to send your name, address and phone number to The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (PhoneBusters).

3. Notify joint-victim credit grantors.
Based on our conversation with you, FVAD notifies credit grantors of the suspected fraud inquiry and/or account. Specifically, FVAD advises the credit grantors to check for a recent application or opened account with the victim's identifying information. By approaching the fraud from both the consumer's and credit grantor's perspectives, a significant amount of fraud can be detected and resolved earlier.

4. Mail statement authorization form.
FVAD representative informs you that an authorization form will be mailed out in order to obtain written consent and to record your contact information.

5. Keep a database of fraud information.
With your consent, FVAD will add misused information into our High Risk Fraud Alert database. Should this information be used on future fraudulent applications, an alert is generated advising potential credit grantors to do further due diligence prior to extending credit.

6. Restore your credit file to its accurate state.
FVAD investigates any disputed credit information with the creditors to help restore any fraud information on your credit file to its accurate state.

7. Refer you to other credit bureaus.
An FVAD representative advises you to contact other credit bureaus in Canada in order to notify them about the fraud incident and add further protection for yourself.

8. Notification of Investigation Outcome/Mail credit file to the consumer, if appropriate
.
An FVAD representative will notify you by mail of the Investigation outcome. If you also want a current copy of your TransUnion credit report, proof of identity and/or residency may be required to safeguard your file from further fraudulent activity. The request must be signed in writing and accompanied by two pieces of acceptable identification. Following is the list of acceptable identification:

Acceptable primary identification
We require one piece of valid, non-expired Canadian Government-issued identification. Examples include:

  • Drivers license
  • Canadian Passport
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Birth Certificate
  • Permanent Resident card
  • Citizenship and Immigration form
  • Old Age Security card
  • Department of National Defence card
  • Provincial photo ID

Additional pieces of acceptable identification
Examples include:

  • Utility bill indicating current address
  • Credit card statement indicating current address
  • CNIB card
  • Social Insurance card
  • T4 slip (current tax year)Notice of Assessments
  • GST/HST Refunds
  • Child Tax Benefits (current tax year)

 

Together these combined pieces must contain your name, current address, date of birth and signature.