March is Fraud Awareness Month

Skimming & cloning: Skimming devices on ATMs and POS terminals steal your card information.  They can be illegally attached to a legitimate bank machine.  It captures your credit or debit card information when you insert your card.  Criminals also use hidden cameras to capture your PIN number.

Solution:  If it doesn’t like right, it probably isn’t.  This may happen more at a private ATM, such as food in bars and gas stations.  Go to a different machine.  Make sure your hand and/or body are blocking anyone’s (including a hidden camera’s) view when you enter your PIN.

Card not present: Scammers use stolen card info to shop online, over the phone or by mail.

Solution:  Call the phone number on the back of your credit card if you think something is amiss.  Don’t respond to the phone calls you may get reporting suspicious activity.  Log onto your credit card account and check regularly for any suspicious activity.

Report any lost or stolen card as soon as possible. 

Identity theft: Fraudsters use stolen personal information to open cards & shop on your behalf.

Solution:  Check your credit rating.  You can find out if any new loans or credit cards have been taken out on your behalf. There are two major credit score companies in Canada.  For EquiFax Check Your Equifax Credit Score and Report | Equifax Canada click on this link.  For TransUnion, click Consumer Disclosure | TransUnion Canada.  If you don’t want to click on links, go to the Government of Canada website and search for how to access my credit score. 

Reach  out to your home insurance company.  They may offer a rider on your insurance that will help you if you’re the victim of identity theft.

ATMs:  Automatic Teller Machines

POS terminals:  Point of sale terminals, such as when you tap or insert your credit or debit card.

Again, if you think something is suspicious, report it to your bank or credit card company.  They’ll always be happy to hear from you.



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