Credit card fraud

How credit card fraud happens

Credit card fraud happens when someone steals or uses without your permission your credit card or credit card information. Your information or your card is used to:

A person might steal your credit card information by:

Protect yourself from credit card fraud

All credit cards issued in Canada now have a computer chip that makes transactions more secure. The computer chip works with your PIN to make sure you give permission for each transaction. This helps protect you against fraud if someone steals your credit card. Credit cards with computer chips also have magnetic stripes. They may be used in countries that don’t have chip-reading technology.

There are also certain actions you may take to protect yourself from credit card fraud. Follow these tips to protect your credit card and your personal information.

Keep your PIN secret

Choose a PIN that is hard to guess. For example, avoid using your birthday, Social Insurance Number, address or telephone number.

Be sure to keep your PIN secret by:

Some financial institutions offer the ability to pay with a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Even with this payment method, you must always keep your PIN secret.

Learn how to protect yourself from unauthorized mobile payments.

Protect yourself in public places

Protect yourself from credit card fraud in public places:

Protect yourself at home

Protect yourself from credit card fraud at home:

Protecting yourself online

Protect yourself from credit card fraud online:

Protect yourself over the telephone

Legitimate credit card companies don’t ask for personal information over the phone. Contact your issuer using the telephone number on the back of your card. Don’t use telephone numbers provided in an email or by anybody other than your credit card issuer.

Protect yourself from credit card fraud over the telephone:

Make sure a company is legitimate before giving it your information. If you’re not sure, hang up and contact the Better Business Bureau.

Find your Better Business Bureau.

Additional tips to protect yourself

To better protect yourself from credit card fraud, you may also:

If you're a victim of credit card fraud

If you think you’re a victim of credit card fraud, contact your financial institution immediately.

You may then proceed as follows:

  1. write down what happened and how you first noticed the fraud
  2. contact your credit card issuer to tell them about the fraud
  3. take note of whom you talked to and when you spoke to them
  4. keep all documents that you think might be helpful if the police investigate the fraud
  5. contact your local police service to file a complaint
  6. if you believe a company (for example, your telephone company) has been hacked, contact it

Put a fraud alert

You may also contact Canada’s 2 main credit bureaus; Equifax and TransUnion. Ask them to place a fraud alert on your credit report. Ask for a copy of your credit report from each credit bureau. Review them and report any incorrect information.

Learn how to get your credit report.

Report the fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

The Canadian Anti-fraud Centre is jointly managed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Competition Bureau Canada. It's Canada's central repository for information about fraud.

Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.

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