3 effective ways to reduce the risk of credit card fraud

August 22, 2014

Credit card fraud is all over the news these days. To reduce the risk of becoming a victim, here are 3 effective ways to protect yourself against the online thieves who carry it out.

3 effective ways to reduce the risk of credit card fraud

Your credit card should be treated as carefully as cash. If you lose it or it gets stolen, call the credit card company right away. What's more, if you notice on your statement a transaction that you didn’t authorize, you must protect yourself immediately! The sooner you act, the less opportunity the fraudsters have to use your card number again.

If your card gets defrauded

Contact the issuer of your credit card without delay. Upon receipt of your call, the card will be blocked and you'll be issued a new one.

Notify the two main Canadian credit reporting bureaus and have fraud alerts placed in your credit file. Request a copy of your credit record from them and check for yourself that the debts listed there are yours.

Inform the police in your area.

Advise the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

Ultimately, three effective ways to reduce the risk of credit card fraud begins before you use your card. They include:

1. Shopping online wisely

Shopping on the web can make you vulnerable to credit card fraud. Take a few precautions and do it the right way.

  • Use a secure site that begins with https:// or one with a padlock image that appears in the URL bar.
  • Make purchases only from recognized companies.
  • Avoid making your purchases via a shared or public WIFI connection.
  • Make sure your anti-virus software is updated regularly.

2. Be aware of phishing

A popular method for criminals to target people is called phishing. With phishing, fraudsters can use technology to get your personal and financial information.

  • A typical scenario is to receive an e-mail "hook" that appears to be from your financial institution.
  • In it, you are asked to verify your personal information or you’re notified that your account has been frozen because of security problems and you need to reactivate it.

3. Never provide financial or personal information

From the moment you are asked to provide any personal or financial information by e-mail or text messaging, there is a risk of phishing.

  • Do not click any web links or embedded e-mail addresses, and do not call the phone number they give you.
  • What you need to do is simple: communicate directly with your financial institution via a listed phone number or one found on a statement from your files.

BEWARE! The “hook” e-mail may contain a logo that looks identical to that of your bank or financial institution. To avoid confusion, remember that in Canada, banks and financial institutions will never contact you by e-mail to request personal or financial information.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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