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Use your credit report to protect against identity theft
ccording to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, Canadians lost almost $11 million last year to identity theft. What can you do to protect yourself? One of the most valuable tools available to you is your credit report.
Your credit report is important because it is an electronic snapshot of your financial health compiled and shared by credit granting agencies such as financial institutions and department stores. If provides a picture of your loan payment history and potentially negative data such as bankruptcies, judgments, and tax liens.
If you find anything untoward on your report, it could indicate that your identity has been confused with that of another person or stolen by identity thieves intent on using your good name for their own profit.
It’s a good practice to check your credit report once a year to confirm the accuracy of your personal and financial information. You can view your credit report online with Equifax (www.equifax.ca) and TransUnion (www.transunion.ca) for a fee, or download a form to request a free report.
Mail in the completed form with photocopies of two pieces of identification, and you should receive a full report in the mail in about two weeks.