Credit cards make our lives convenient, but fraudulent charges can be racked up if you do not use your credit card safely.
This example is just one way that consumers can be tricked; Donald gets an email from what looks like his bank. It says he has an overdue payment on his credit card. He clicks on the email and a website opens up that appears to be legitimate. It asks for his name, address and credit card number. He is worried about his overdue bill, so he enters his personal information.
Donald has just been scammed and his credit card information could be used fraudulently.
Here are some tips to help you keep your credit card safe from frauds and
scams: be safe with your credit card online, do not click on email links from anyone pretending to be your bank, credit card company, or any other business – even if the email looks legitimate. These links are often phishing scams trying to trick you into entering your login information on their fake website.
Enter your credit card number only on secure websites that you are sure are 100 per cent legitimate. Be careful of what information data you share over Wi-Fi – especially your online banking.
Keep your credit cards secure. Always confirm you have your credit card back in your possession before you leave a store or restaurant. Decrease your chances of credit card
skimming at restaurants by paying at the terminal rather than giving your credit card to a server for processing.
Do not sign blank credit card receipts.
Shred anything with your credit card number on it. If you make a credit card purchase at a store or restaurant that keeps a copy of the receipt, be sure to scratch out your credit card number with a pen.
Avoid giving out your credit card information. Only give out your credit card number or other sensitive information to your bank or financial institution when you have initiated the call using the number on the back of your card. Do not return calls to a phone
number left on your answering machine and do not give your credit card number to anyone who calls you requesting the number.
Report suspicious activity immediately. The sooner you report your missing or stolen card, the less likely fraudulent charges will be made on your card. Most credit card companies have 24 hour service for this reason. Always report credit card fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by visiting their website at www.antifraudcentre.ca or calling 1 888 495-8501.
Review your billing statements each month. This is the best way to ensure that you notice strange charges and report them right away. Contact your credit card company to inquire about any strange transactions or incorrect charges.
If you have questions about your rights and responsibilities as a consumer in B.C., please contact Consumer Protection B.C. toll free at 1 888 564-9963, or visit: www.consumerprotectionbc.ca