Protecting Debit Cards

To protect yourself against debit card fraud:

  • Keep your card in a safe place and never “lend” it to anyone, including friends and family members.
  • Protect you PIN (Personal Identification Number). It is your electronic signature.  Don’t write it down – memorize it.
  • When selecting a PIN avoid the obvious e.g. 1-2-3-4, your birth date, address
  • Never disclose your PIN to anyone. No financial institution, police or merchant will ever ask for your PIN. You are the only person who should know it.
  • Review your account statements on a regular basis and look for discrepancies.
  • Information on how to check your credit report can be obtained by contacting: Equifax Canada 1-800-465-7166; and Trans Union Canada 1-800-663-9980.
  • To ensure privacy, always use your hand as a shield to prevent others from observing you entering your PIN. Be aware of “shoulder surfers” who may use camera phones to record your PIN.
  • Robbery rarely occurs at A.T.M. machines but if it should happen, remember - your safety comes first.
  • If you are a victim of debit card fraud contact your financial institution immediately.
  • If your card is lost, stolen, or is retained by an A.T.M. machine, notify your financial institution immediately. Most institutions offer 1-800 telephone numbers and/or 24-hour service for lost or stolen cards.

You should also submit a report with the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre  which is operated by the Competition Bureau, RCMP and OPP.  The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre tracks trends in fraud nation wide and is the national call centre for mass marketing fraud and identity theft.

Further information is available by consulting the Government of Canada web site.


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