BEWARE OF PREDATORS – IDENTITY THEFT
Protecting your credit is not only important but it is critical to your financial well-being. Credit protection and keeping your information confidential is of utmost importance and we remain current with tips, information, and protection options to educate our clientele and the general public. We have come across credit accounts on clients credit bureau that they were never aware of. At times these accounts are paid well since some thieves hope that you’ll never know and others encountered derogatory payment history – Both are equally dangerous!
Identity theft is committed when someone steals your personal information — such as your name, Social Insurance Number, and Date of Birth — typically to hijack your credit and use it for fraudulent purposes, such as opening up new credit accounts, taking out loans in your name, or accessing your bank or retirement accounts. An identity thief can even use your personal information to steal your tax refunds or commit crimes in your name.
Once an identity thief has access to your personal information, he or she could also:
Open new credit card accounts with your name, Social Insurance Number and date of birth. When the thief charges to the credit cards and leaves the bills unpaid, the delinquency will be reported to your credit report and could impact your credit score
Open a bank account in your name and write bad cheques on the account
Create counterfeit cheques or debit cards and use them to drain your existing bank accounts
File for bankruptcy under your name to avoid paying debts
Set up a phone, wireless, or other utility services in your name.
BASIC CREDIT MANAGEMENT TIPS
Check your credit on Equifax at least twice annually
Contact Equifax to add a note on your account that they must inform you if a credit check has been done
Whenever you make a payment to a past due account or paid on the due date then fax a copy of the confirmation of payment with 2 pieces of ID to Equifax so that your credit accounts can be immediately updated as some lenders report transactions later than others
If an account was placed in a collection and you paid it off, obtain a letter from the collection agency and fax it to Equifax with 2 pieces of ID so that it will be updated and reflected on your credit bureau immediately
Do not max out your credit accounts as it reduces your credit score or your score will not increase
Do not miss the due date for payments, pay even the minimum amount if you cannot afford to pay more, but do pay the minimum and on time. Set up minimum payment automatic withdrawal with your bank to avoid late payments
If you are going to be late with payments, contact your creditors, mortgage lenders, phone or cable companies, utility companies to make payment arrangements. Do not dodge phone calls or neglect these steps. This will avoid your file going to collections or legal.
Our support staff is always here to advise and guide you. Please do not hesitate to contact us.