Published on October 29th, 2012 | by Jordan
Reporting Credit Card Fraud
In 2010 alone, the RCMP reported that over $365 million in Canadian funds was lost to credit card fraud which is an increase from the previous year. Few people think it will happen to them but with more than 500,000 accounts being compromised in 2009 the risk is much higher than you might think. Even if your lost or stolen card isn’t used to purchase goods and services in person a criminal could obtain its data through hidden card-readers to manufacture counterfeits or make unauthorized purchases over the internet. So what happens when you notice a sizeable charge on your statement that you know you didn’t make? It’s important to remain calm and act quickly to mitigate the damage by following the steps outlined below for reporting credit card fraud:
Contact your credit card issuer immediately if you’ve discovered an unfamiliar charge or think that your card may have been compromised (lost or stolen by a phishing website), “we’re here to help,” says Ken Pettapiece, manager of Corporate Security with Bridgewater Bank which issues the CAA MasterCard. If your card is still in your possession, call the customer service number found on its back. If your card has been lost or stolen, refer to your provider’s website for contact information. “Your card issuer will assist you in cancelling your current card. They’ll investigate and provide you with a new card,” says Pettapiece.
- Alert your credit bureau (either Equifax or TransUnion in Canada) and ask them to place a fraud alert on your account. By doing so, anyone who requests your credit information will be notified that you suspect you might be a victim of fraud. If someone tries to open a credit account in your name, increase spending limits or obtain a new card on an existing account, the lender will be alerted to take additional steps in order to verify the legitimacy of each request.
- Contact your local police station and file a report. It may seem like overkill, but it’s essential for documentation and fraud prevention. Though the police won’t be able to do much about your lost card, you will get a police report which will come in handy if your card is used without your authorization.
- Always report credit card fraud to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre. Reports can be submitted online or by calling 1-888-495-8501.
Thankfully, most credit card issuers understand that the risk of fraud is very real, so they’ve instituted various policies and prevention techniques to help ensure your financial safety. “Protecting your financial health and your personal information is crucial,” says Pettapiece.
Every CAA Mastercard comes standard with MasterCard® SecureCode™ to help prevent fraud when shopping online. And MasterCard’s Zero Liability policy ensures that “as long as your account is in good standing, you have exercised reasonable care in safeguarding your card, and you have not reported two or more unauthorized events in the past twelve months, unauthorized purchases are not your responsibility.
© 2017 CAA South Central Ontario
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