If your mail has been stolen, consider taking the following precautions to prevent Identity Theft:
To prevent mail theft:
Install a slot in your door for mail if you have an outside mailbox.
Remove all mail as soon as possible from common lobby mailboxes if you live in an apartment or condo.
Challenge people you don’t know in the lobby and don’t let unauthorized people into the building.
Keep Track of billing cycles and if your bank and credit card financial statements or phone bills don’t arrive, contact the issuer and consider picking up financial statements from your bank. Your mail could have been stolen or someone may have even had your mail re-directed.
Consider getting online statements from any agencies that offer them, such as banks, BC Hydro, phone companies, etc. if you change your address, submit a change of address card to Canada Post and notify any agency which sends you billing information do an annual credit check. Review the website to find the free option.
What to do if you are victim of identity theft
- report it to your local police
- contact the bank and close any account you know or believe has been tampered with
- contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501
- have fraud alerts placed on your credit reports and apply for a free annual credit report check:
Equifax 1-800-465-7166; and
Signs you may be a victim of identity theft
- you receive statements of accounts you didn’t open or debits on your accounts you can’t explain
- you fail to receive bills or other mail
- receive credit cards you didn’t apply for
- you are denied credit for no apparent reason
- getting calls or letters from debt collectors or businesses asking for payment on purchases you never made
By Leah Marlay
Vancouver Police Department