Thieves may find lots of ways to steal the person’s identity – from phone scams to data breaches. It may happen to every citizen of every country, but Canadians suffer from such thieves really frequently. Each year over 27,000 citizens of Canada state become victims of this identity theft, according to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. While Experian credit freeze is common in the USA together with other credit reporting agencies, Canada can’t boast of offering such services to protect their people. Here is why a credit freeze Canada could help to protect against identity fraud if it was accepted in this country.
What Is a Credit Freeze?
We are living in a world where it’s hard to fully protect your personal data from scams and frauds. Even major organizations suffer from data breaches. If people could freeze credit Canada, it would be easier to protect their sensitive information by allowing consumers to lock their credit reports. This way, even the credit holders won’t have access to more credit until they de-freeze it.
As a result, scammers won’t have the right to get information or steal your identity, or open new accounts in your name. However, there is no 100% guarantee that all personal data will be protected.
Claudia Popa, an author of The Canadian Cyberfraud Handbook says, “Credit monitoring that is currently available in Canada can’t fully protect consumers against identity theft. It may only give a false sense of security.”
How to Freeze Your Credit
While this option isn’t still available on the territory of Canada, Quebec became the first province to propose a bill that will allow people to freeze their credit reports. The introduction of this option earlier this year has resulted in data breaches and data theft of 23,000 contractors and employees in Revenue Quebec. As a result, other provinces may also take this into consideration when implementing this strategy in order to improve the data protection of consumers.
This is a common practice for US citizens – they may choose between TransUnion credit freeze and Equifax credit freeze. This service is generally free, although it may come with a set monthly fee in Canada. Nowadays, they offer only a credit monitoring system for Canadians. A recent CBC Marketplace research mentions that credit monitoring doesn’t really protect sensitive data as it doesn’t offer an immediate response in case of any fraudulent activity.
How to Protect Yourself
While putting a freeze on your credit may sound like a reasonable idea, it’s not available on the territory of Canada now. What can you do in case you face any fraudulent activity and need to protect your sensitive data? Of course, the consequences of identity theft might be terrible and devastating, so knowing where to turn to in case of emergency can save your time and money.
If a consumer suffers from identity theft and can’t place a credit freeze, they should immediately get in touch with every credit bureau and their fraud departments. They will place a fraud alert on the victim’s credit file. In order to prevent scammers from gaining access to your data or opening new accounts in your name, go ahead and ask them for a security freeze. Credit reporting agencies will also notify you on how to remove credit freeze later when you will need to use it or take out a new loan.
Do You Really Need a Credit Freeze?
If the sensitive information has already been stolen, the credit freeze won’t be able to protect it. It may help you to protect your credit file and prevent from thieves opening new accounts in your name. The credit reporting bureaus usually give a special PIN number to lock your credit, but scammers might also hack that number. This may be a better option for senior consumers who don’t often use their credit because their accounts can suffer more frequently from scammers.
It may be a little hassle but it’s definitely worth protecting yourself and your family from being compromised again.