If you have ever lost your wallet or had it stolen, it can be frustrating and costly to replace all your documents, not to mention how worrying it can be. To make the process of replacing your documents easier it can be a good idea to keep a list of your important card numbers somewhere safe so that you can easily refer to it when you need to replace your cards. Always remember though: never keep pin numbers/passwords with the card numbers.
What to do
If you suspect that you are a victim of identity crime, or have had your identification lost or stolen, you can take the following steps to help minimize the damage and prevent any further identity theft and fraud:
- Notify your Financial Institutions immediately to have them cancel your cards and re-issue them and put alerts on your accounts
- Contact the police department where the theft or loss occurred to file a report. Even if a police officer does not attend to take the report in person you will be provided with a file number which many agencies will require. Police departments map crime locations and statistics and use this information to identify suspects and trends.
- Contact consumer credit reporting agencies Equifax and TransUnion to alert them of the theft. These agencies will add a statement to your file to alert credit grantors that you may be a victim of fraudulent activity. This may mean that the next time you apply for credit you will be questioned more thoroughly as a precautionary measure. The credit grantor wants to make sure that you are, in fact, the person you say you are. You can also obtain free copies of your credit report which will list all accounts in your name. Contact them by phone toll free or obtain services through their websites:
Trans Union Credit Bureau: 1.800.663.9980 – free version info Equifax Canada: 1.800.465.7166 – free version info
- If your driver’s licence has been stolen, visit your driver licensing office to replace your old licence. You will need to bring some approved identification to have your licence replaced. Expect to pay a fee. For citizens of British Columbia you can contact ICBC for more information: ICBC | Your licence
- If your Social Insurance Card has been stolen you will need to apply for a new one. Your card number can be found on your income tax return. You cannot use copies of documents to apply for a new SIN card and must take original documents. Visit Service Canada for more information.
- If your BC Services or Care Card is lost or stolen you should report it immediately to Health Insurance BC. You can find out more information and how to replace your card at: MSP – Your BC Services Card/CareCard. You will need two pieces of identification.
- If your passport is lost or stolen you should report it immediately to Passport Canada at 1.800.567.6868. Information on how to replace the document can be found at Passport Canada
- If you have had your British Columbia birth certificate stolen you can find more information on what you should do next at Vital Statistics BC
For more information on fraud and identity theft, see Online Anti-Fraud Resources.
To many of us, our cell phones are more like small computers than phones. They are our photo albums, cameras, address books, diaries, games centers, banking centers, music storage and much more. The loss or theft of a cell phone can be costly and devastating due to the sheer amount of information we store on them.
Be proactive in protecting your cell phone data
It is always better to take a few small steps to protect the information on your cell phone prior to it being stolen.
What to do if your cell phone is lost or stolen
- Contact your wireless service provider immediately to flag and suspend your account
- Have your IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) number written down or stored somewhere safe (you may access this number by typing *#06# into the keypad of your device or by looking on the back of your device behind the battery). If you know your IMEI number your wireless provider can add your phone to the National Blacklist Registry which means it will not be able to be activated
- Contact any banking institutions or change the passwords to any online banking and other online accounts that you access automatically from your phone
- Report the theft to police.