4.3.12 Video: Debit and credit card fraud



Credit card and debit card fraud is an unfortunate reality that can range from an inconvenience to a harmful and costly incident. In fact, every year, some 15 million Canadians are targeted by fraud.

In 2009, card holders and card issuers lost more than $600 million to illegal schemes. Anyone can become a target: your neighbours, family members, co-workers and friends.

Here are some ways to prevent this from happening to you.

Segment 2: Problem identification

Credit card and debit card fraud happens when someone steals your card, your card information or your personal identification number (or PIN) and uses it without your permission to make purchases or to withdraw money from an automated banking machine.

Segment 3: How thieves work

How can someone get your credit or debit card information from you? Well thieves can work in many different ways:


By stealing your PIN:

Jenny lost $800 when a "friend" watched her enter her PIN and then stole her debit card from her purse.

By using card skimmers to copy information from your card:

James' bank account was cleaned out after a phony card reader he used copied his banking information.

By stealing your mail and your identity:

Marcia had her bank statement stolen from her mailbox, and soon after, money was removed from her account.

And email scams that get you to send your personal financial information:

The email Sam received claimed he had won a vacation . The "vacation" turned out to be a fake and with his personal financial information, the "company" maxed out his credit card.

These are only a few ways scammers try to get your card data.

Segment 4: How to protect yourself

Even though card fraud is common, there are also effective ways to prevent it from happening to you. Here are some helpful tips:


  • Shield the keypad when you enter your PIN
  • If you notice something suspicious about a card device at a store or ATM, report it to the company that issued your card.
  • If you receive a replacement card, destroy the old one as soon as you activate the new one.
  • If you don't receive a replacement card, before your current card expires, contact your issuer.
  • Don't give out credit information over the phone unless you've contacted the company directly and know it's legitimate.
  • Don't give out credit card information by email.
  • Check your bank statements often, and contact your card issuer if you see any mistakes or suspicious charges.
  • Keep your mail, bank statements and personal information in a safe place and manage your digital records carefully.

Segment 5: If you think you are a victim


If you think you are a victim of credit card fraud, contact your credit card issuer and your local police. You should also contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.


Remember to always use your debit and credit cards carefully and keep your information safe. By following these easy tips, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of credit card or debit card fraud.

Page details

Date modified: