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8 Tips to Protect you Against Fraud for Canada’s Fraud Prevention Month

Young Man Shopping --- Image by © Randy Faris/Corbis

We live in a fast-paced world. Technology is constantly evolving the way we live our lives – from the way we hail taxis to how we buy movie tickets. Just as Spring is a yearly reminder to clear the clutter and clean the house, Fraud Prevention Month is a yearly reminder to Canadians to take a few simple steps to protect themselves against fraud.

Canadian credit cards are safe to use, and new payment technologies such as mobile payments have the same security features Canadian expect from their cards. But as with all things, it’s always a good idea to be diligent and take a few simple precautions to protect yourself from would-be fraudsters.

  • Create powerful passwords. Make your passwords strong by making them complex with upper case, numbers and symbols. Change your passwords from time to time. Use different passwords for different purposes and ensure you have a means to recover them, such as a separate eemail address. Soon we’ll offer you even more ways to authenticate your purchase using biometrics like fingerprint and facial recognition. Learn more here.
  • Shop with reputable retailers. The rise of eCommerce makes shopping more convenient than ever, but you should only shop though reliable websites you can trust. Look for the SecureCode symbol from MasterCard at checkout, which adds a layer of security and ensures you are who you say you are online. When you shop at online merchants accepting MasterPass you can be sure of a secure transaction.
  • Use Chip & PIN and contactless. Counterfeit card fraud rates have declined by 80% since the technology was first implemented in 2008. You should be the only one with knowledge of your PIN, and shield it from sight at checkout.
  • Track your statements. By keeping an eye on your card statement, you’ll know if an unauthorized purchase was processed. Sign up for online/e-statements and check regularly. If you notice something, call your bank immediately. The number is always on the back of your credit card.
  • Stay away from scams: Don’t open links or eemail attachments from unknown sources, and don’t share credit card data or personal information (passwords, date of birth, social insurance number) via unsolicited phone calls, eemails, text messages, or social media messages. If you Couple Buying Online --- Image by © Floresco Productions/Corbisprovided credit card data and it later seemed suspicious, call your bank. MasterCard will never call you directly and ask for your personal information.
  • Travel safe: March also means March Break or Spring Break for many Canadians. Using your credit card while traveling means you can avoid carrying large sums of cash. Keep receipts from your credit card purchases and check them for anything unusual or unexpected when you get home. Consider calling your bank to advise them of your travel.
  • Know the facts: The bank that issued your card owns the credit relationship with you, the cardholder. Should you ever have a question about a purchase or a transaction, call the number on the back of your card to be connected directly to your bank.
  • Protection with Zero Liability: Inform yourself about the layers of security built into your credit card’s payment network. MasterCard cardholders are protected against fraudulent purchases under the Zero Liability Policy. MasterCard’s Safety Net monitors the entire MasterCard global network activity 24 hours a day, seven days a week.