September 26, 2023

La Ronge Northerner

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Data leak: He was cheated 13 times in 13 days

Data leak: He was cheated 13 times in 13 days

A man on sick leave has had a nightmare for more than a month after his identity was stolen: Six unsolicited credit cards arrived at his home, and 13 card requests were made in his name in 13 days. Equifax.

“They told me I had no other problems, but on August 5, I was watching a movie and the phone rang: it told me that someone had re-applied for a card in my name at Equifax. . When I called CIBC, they said they had never seen it. “I was told,” said the Saudier-Appalachian resident, who requested anonymity for fear of making his situation worse.

“I developed stress-related health problems. I have dark thoughts. I can’t take it anymore! It’s heavy,” says the man, who has also suffered panic attacks in the past few days.

It all started on July 10th when he received 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 security number on file, although he had not reported it to this bank and it was not his.

The next day, the person got a CIBC card, and the day after that another.

Is Desjardins Linked to Data Theft?

“I had the reflex to call Desjardins, a customer of mine, and I was told it might be related to the 2019 data theft. They said they were going to get with me,” says the victim, who later received three more cards. .

“Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen a slight increase in fraud through identity theft,” admits Chantal Garbeil, senior spokeswoman for public relations at Desjardins Group.

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The organization goes with financial institutions, the police, Equifax and TransUnion to take all action when its members are affected. But Desjardins doesn’t necessarily consider himself a source of identity theft.

“Since 2019, many companies have reported data breaches,” says Ms.

Trust is shattered

Because he reported the matter quickly, the man did not have to pay the amount transferred from the cards claimed by fraudsters in his name. But he knows he will receive other cards in the coming months. He also knows that his social security number and other sensitive information are in the wrong hands. Also, he lost faith in institutions.

“Even Equifax has had data stolen. There’s someone who hacked my file and changed my phone number,” he says worriedly.

Desjardins offers him psychological support, which he uses extensively these days, as well as six years of protection with Equifax. Beyond this period, he wonders if he should pay himself to ensure the security of his file. He knows the stolen information could affect him anew because he can’t change his lifelong Social Security number, mother’s last name, date of birth, or past jobs.

“The data theft happened at Desjardins in 2019. It’s 2023. How long is it? Until 2030? 2035?” The man who asks, sometimes feels misunderstood in his misery.

It took Desjardins a month to complete the steps to secure his file. Now he wants to see financial institutions more stringent in issuing credit cards; A process that seems much easier to him in the digital world, where you can pretend to be someone else.