4.3.13 If you are a victim of debit or credit card fraud

From: Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Steps to take if a victim of fraud 

Some credit card issuers, including Visa, MasterCard and American Express, have zero liability policies. This means that you may not be liable for purchases made on your credit card if it is lost or stolen. Contact your card issuer to find out what protection you have.

If you become a victim of credit card fraud, take these steps:

  • Immediately report a lost or stolen credit card or any unauthorized charges that appear on your monthly statement to your credit card issuer.
  • Contact your local police and file a police report.
  • Start a written log of what happened and how you first noticed the fraud. Keep all documentation that you think may be helpful in the investigation.
  • Contact the two credit bureaus in Canada, Equifax and TransUnion. Ask that a "Fraud Alert" be placed in your credit file. At the same time, order copies of your credit report and review them. Make sure that all the accounts and debts that show up on your report are yours. Report any incorrect information to the credit bureaus.
  • Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, a national anti-fraud call centre that collects and analyzes information on fraud and assists law enforcement agencies in investigations. (Or call 1-888-495-8501.)

For more information on how to protect yourself against financial frauds and scams, see the module on Fraud protection.

Protecting financial consumers

The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is an independent body working to protect and inform consumers of financial services. As a federal regulatory agency, FCAC is responsible for monitoring financial institutions' compliance with voluntary codes of conduct and their own public commitments to protect the interests of consumers.

If you are a victim of credit card fraud, you may be protected by one of the consumer protection policies set in place by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Some conditions may apply. For more information on this protection, contact your credit card issuer and ask about the Public Commitment on Zero Liability, the Visa E-Promise or the Fraud Protection Guarantee. FCAC makes sure that financial institutions under federal responsibility honour these commitments.

If you feel that your issuer has not complied with its commitment, contact FCAC at Call: 1-866-461-3222.

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