Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

March 10, 2008 11:18 ET

March Is Fraud Awareness Month: FCAC Advises Consumers to Check Their Credit Report for Signs of Identity Theft

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 10, 2008) - Fraud can cost you both time and money. During Fraud Awareness Month - the month of March - the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is advising consumers to order a copy of their credit report from Canada's credit-reporting agencies to check whether they have fallen victim to identity theft.

"Identity theft can happen to any of us," said FCAC Commissioner Ursula Menke. "One of the best ways to protect yourself from fraud is to check your credit card and bank statements carefully, on a regular basis. That way, you will be better able to notice discrepancies in your personal finances and quickly report any irregularities to your bank or to authorities."

"It is important to order a copy of your credit report from all three of Canada's credit-reporting agencies every year, to check it for signs of identity theft," added the Commissioner. "Identity theft is not always obvious. Thieves can use your personal information to open a credit account and have the statements sent to a different address, so that you don't realize there is a problem until you apply for credit and get turned down."

FCAC's popular booklet Understanding your Credit Report and Credit Score tells consumers how they can obtain a copy of their credit report from the credit bureaus free of charge, by mail. The publication also helps consumers understand the information in a credit report; explains how to get any errors corrected that may show up in the report; and provides tips on how to improve a low credit score.

To view this publication on line or to download a copy, visit FCAC's Web site at: www.fcac.gc.ca. To obtain a print copy, free of charge, call FCAC at: 1-866-461-3222 (or 1-866-914-6097 for TTY service, for the deaf or hard of hearing). During Fraud Awareness Month - the month of March - FCAC will also make this booklet available to Canadians through Service Canada's network of service centres. To find a Service Canada Centre near you, call: 1 800 O-Canada or go to: www.servicecanada.gc.ca.

FCAC also publishes four useful tip sheets on how to prevent and protect yourself from identity fraud, credit card fraud, and fraudulent e-mails and phone calls, as well as how to protect your debit card and PIN. You can also view these tip sheets on FCAC's Web site or download them from the site. Print copies are also available through FCAC's Consumer Contact Centre.

FCAC ensures compliance with the consumer protection laws, and monitors compliance with the codes of conduct and public commitments that apply to banks and federally incorporated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also provides consumers with accurate, objective information about financial products and services, and informs Canadians of their rights and responsibilities when dealing with federally regulated financial institutions.

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