Identity Fraud: What to do next

By Bonnie Staring

If you suspect that you or a loved one may be a victim of identity theft or fraud, here’s what to do:

REPORT IT
“Reporting to the police gets you a start date [to begin the investigation], kind of like you would for an insurance claim,” says Detective Bill Allen of the Edmonton Police Service.

CALL YOUR BANK
Contact any and all financial institutions that you deal with. Make them aware of the situation immediately.

FLAG IT
Put a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert will signal potential creditors and lenders to be wary of any new applications for credit, and will help protect you.

REPORT IT AGAIN
Call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501. And remember—you’re not alone.

HOW AMA CAN HELP
“Identity theft and fraud are very complex issues, so you need to be educated and engaged to protect yourself,” says Wendy Mah, AMA’s coordinator of safety and security services. AMA offers unique services for identity protection.

Secure document disposal: Visit an AMA centre to purchase document disposal envelopes. Fill them at your convenience and then drop them into the secure bin at AMA. The bin’s contents are then destroyed.

Drive-thru shredding: At spring and summer shredding events, members can drop off documents to have sensitive materials safely destroyed on site by an AMA service provider, free of charge.

Added protection with AMA Insurance: Every AMA home insurance policy includes identity theft expense coverage. Best of all, the coverage requires no additional premium.