Information for Canadians about the Equifax data breach
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) has opened an investigation into the data breach at Equifax Inc. The investigation is a priority for our office given the sensitivity of the personal information that Equifax holds.
Equifax Canada has indicated that it believes the data breach affected approximately 8,000 Canadians.
The company says it began sending notices via postal mail on October 13, 2017. According to Equifax, the letters will specify for each affected individual what personal information was potentially compromised and offer free credit monitoring.
Tips for concerned individuals:
- Canadians should not check whether they are affected by the breach via the U.S. website that Equifax has set up. The site was designed for use with U.S. social security numbers.
- Consumers can reach Equifax at 1-866-699-5712 (English service) and 1-800-561-6387 (French service) or email EquifaxCanadaInquiry@Equifax.com. They can also check for updates on the Equifax Canada website.
- Equifax has said that it will not be calling affected consumers about the breach. They have said the notifications will be in writing by postal mail. Hang up if someone calls claiming to be from Equifax as scammers may try to take advantage of the breach – don’t trust the caller ID display as this can be spoofed.
- Monitor your credit cards and bank accounts regularly and keep a close eye out for any transactions you did not authorize. Report any issues right away.
- If you identify a concern involving a theft/crime, report the incident to local police. Report any incidents involving a scam or fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
- If you think you have been targeted by identity fraud, advise your bank and credit card companies. Close any accounts and cancel any cards that may have been compromised.
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