Equifax Credit Hacking: Are Canadians at Risk?

September 15, 2017

Equifax consumers are at risk of having their personal information stolen and improperly used.

On Thursday September 7, the consumer credit monitoring agency, Equifax, announced a data breach that is affecting over 143 million people.

The breach, which involved hackers breaking into Equifax’s ‘unsecured’ software system, is putting Equifax consumers at risk of having their personal information stolen and improperly used. Leaked Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses, driver’s licenses and credit card information could result in fake accounts opened, false tax returns being filed and fake identities being made.

Should Canadians be Worried?

According to Equifax Canada, only Canadians who have Equifax accounts in the United States (if you have lived, worked or applied for credit in the U.S.) could be a risk for having personal information stolen.

Although it’s been reported that a limited number of Canadians are at risk for being affected, Canada’s privacy commissioner suggests that all Canadians who have accounts open in the United States call Equifax Canada immediately: 1-866-828-5961 (English) or 1-877-323-2598 (French).

Your Next Steps

Every year, thousands of Canadians fall victim to financial fraud and identity theft. Regardless if you’ve been impacted by the Equifax breach or not, check your credit report and keep your eyes open for these three red flags:

1. Withdrawals from your account that you didn’t make

2. Unfamiliar accounts or charges on your credit report

3. Debt delinquencies that you didn’t know about

If you suspect that somebody is using your personal information and taking advantage of you financially, report the information to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre as soon as possible. Visit their website or call their office, toll free: 1-888-495-8501.

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