A man on sick leave has been living through a nightmare for more than a month after his identity was stolen: Six unsolicited credit cards arrived at his home and 13 more card requests were made in his name in the 13 days after his file was locked by Equifax.
“They told me that I had no other problems, but on August 5 I was watching a movie and the phone vibrated: it told me that someone reapplied for a card in my name at Equifax. . When I called CIBC, they told me that they never saw”, his situation A resident of the Chaudière-Appalaches area, who requested anonymity for fear of getting worse, is frustrated.
“I’ve developed health problems related to stress. I have dark thoughts. I can’t take it anymore! It’s overwhelming,” said the man, who has been suffering from panic attacks for the past few days.
It all started on July 10 when he got a TD Bank credit card in the mail that he had never applied for. He went to the branch and realized that the employee had his social insurance number on file, although he never disclosed it to this bank, it was not his.
The next day, the man got a CIBC card and the next day another.
Data theft link at Desjardins?
“I had a reflex to call Desjardins, where I was a client, and I was told it was probably related to the 2019 data theft. They said they were going with me,” the victim said, then received three more cards.
“Since the beginning of the year, there has been a slight increase in fraud through identity theft,” admits Chantal Corbeil, senior representative of public relations at Desjardins Group.
The organization stands with its members when they are victims, taking all action with financial institutions, the police, Equifax and TransUnion. But Desjardins doesn’t have to consider himself the source of identity theft.
“Since 2019 many organizations have also announced information leaks,” Ms. Carbeil said.
Trust has weakened
Because he reported the matter quickly, the man did not have to pay the amounts transferred from the cards the fraudsters requested in his name. But he knows he will receive other cards in the coming months. He also knew that his Social Security number and a lot of other sensitive information was in the wrong hands. Also, he lost faith in institutions.
“Even Equifax had its data stolen. And someone got into my file and changed my phone number,” he worried.
Desjardins offers him emotional support, which he uses extensively these days, as well as six years of protection with Equifax. Beyond this period, he wonders if he will have to pay to secure his file himself. Because he can never change his social security number, assigned for life, or his mother’s maiden name, or his date of birth, or his past jobs, forever, he knows that stolen information can make him a new victim.
“The data breach took place in Desjardins in 2019. It’s 2023. How long will it be? Until 2030? 2035?” asked, he sometimes misunderstood in his pain.
It took a month to complete the steps to protect his file with Desjardins’ help. Now he wants to see financial institutions tougher on granting credit cards; A process that he finds very easy in the digital world, where you can impersonate someone else.