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Telephone and internet scams

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What can I do if I am a victim of a scam?

If you have given money or personal information to a scammer, there are a few things you should do as soon as possible.

Report the scam to the police

Ask for a copy of the police report. Give copies of it to your financial institutions, credit card issuers, the credit reporting agencies, and any other companies that you speak to about the scam.

Contact the financial institutions, credit card issuers, or companies that are involved

Tell them about the scam. You might need to change your account numbers and your PINs, and get new debit and credit cards. Ask the staff at your bank what else you can do to stop the scammers from using your bank accounts and credit cards.

Even if the criminals cannot be found, you might have some protection if they have taken money from your bank account or made charges to your credit card. But your bank will want to be sure that you are actually a victim and that you are not working with the criminals.

When you report the identity theft to as many agencies as possible, you show that you are serious about finding the thieves.

Contact Equifax and TransUnion

Equifax and TransUnion are the two main credit reporting agencies in Canada. Ask each of them for a copy of your credit report. They must send you a free copy of your report in the mail if you ask them to.

Review your credit reports to see if the scammer opened any accounts or incurred debt in your name.

You can contact Equifax at 1-800-465-7166 or www.equifax.ca.

You can contact TransUnion at 1-800-663-9980 or www.transunion.ca.

Report the scam to government agencies

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre gathers information about identity theft and gives advice and help to victims. For more information, call 1-888-495-8501 or visit www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.

The Competition Bureau handles complaints about some types of scams and unfair or deceptive marketing practices. For more information, call 1-800-348-5358 or visit www.competitionbureau.gc.ca.

You can also contact the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services so that other people can be warned about the scam. Call 416-326-8800 or toll-free at 1-800-889-9768. You can also visit www.ontario.ca/consumer.