Credit card security is very important in today’s world. We hear about scams, fraud, and stories in the news every day. In 2022, Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre reported over $531 Million dollars in losses to victims due to fraud and over 57,000 victims of fraud were affected.
Internet fraud and identify theft are the two most common threats. Internet fraud occurs when your credit card information is compromised and is used for purchasing online. Identify theft happens when personal information is either compromised or you’re tricked into giving this information. It allows fraudsters to steal your personal information and make purchases or apply for a credit card or loan.
When it comes to credit card security, we need to be aware of the risks and consequences. By understanding the potential risks and staying informed, we can prevent credit card fraud.
Here are some ways to safeguard your financial well-being.
Understanding Credit Card Security.
Understanding credit card security is essential in protecting yourself from potential scams. Being aware of the common trickery techniques such as caller ID, email, and website can prevent potential scams.
Do not give out personal information such as your name, address, birthdate, Social Insurance Number (SIN), or credit card or banking information.
How to Identify Fraud Activities:
- Caller ID trickery: Fraudsters can trick victims into thinking they are calling from the Vancity Fraud department and are able to collect information. Don’t be afraid to say no and hang up. Call the actual number found on the back of the card.
- Email trickery: Fraudsters can trick and manipulate the senders email address to look very similar to the actual one (e.g., using different characters).
- Website trickery: Fraudster creates websites that look legitimate and tricks victims into thinking it’s a real website. (Always verify the URL and domain to make sure you are on the official website)
Safeguard Your Personal Information.
Keeping your personal information safe and secure is more important than ever. Here are a few ways to manage safeguard your personal information:
Protect and Manager your Passwords:
- Use strong passwords. Rather than using easily guessed passwords or PINs like “password” or “1234”, get creative and come up with hard-to-guess passwords.
- Choose a password manager to store your passwords safely and ensure it’s from a secure website such as Microsoft or Google
Protect Your PIN:
- No matter what, never share your PIN
- Choose a PIN that is hard to guess. For example, avoid using your birthday, address or phone number.
- instead of writing down your PIN, memorize it
Be Aware in Public Spaces:
- Limit the number of credit cards you carry. This will help reduce the risk of it being stolen or lost.
- When entering your PIN at an ATM machine or at the store, hide the keypad with your hand or body. This prevents anyone nearby from seeing your numbers.
Protect Yourself at Home:
- Put a lock on your mailbox. This will prevent someone from stealing your credit card statements or replacement cards.
- Check your credit card statements frequently
- Always sign the back of your card
- Destroy old credit cards by cutting them up or shredding them
- Destroy any personal information/banking information/credit card information by shredding them
Protect Yourself Online:
- Watch out for email scams (e.g., do not click links in emails if you were not expecting that email).
- Watch out for emails or text messages that sound urgent or have spelling mistakes.
Safe Online Shopping Tips.
When shopping online, protect your credit card with these tips:
- Watch out for poorly designed and unprofessional websites
- Beware of incredibly low prices (i.e., unbelievable deals); the site may be a fake online marketplace
- Use secure websites when buying something online. Look for websites with addresses starting with “https” or with a padlock image in the address bar.
- Keep your computer firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware systems up to date
Using Credit Cards Responsibly.
As credit card fraud continues to occur worldwide, it is crucial to keep the above information in mind. These valuable tips will help safeguard yourself against potential fraud. Whether you bank with Vancity or elsewhere, taking immediate action is key. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of fraud, let your bank know immediately and report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
If your Vancity credit card gets lost or stolen, report it immediately. Call 1-888-990-9691 or call the number on the back of your card.
For more information on scams, check out our webinar on “Fraud can’t happen to me. Can it…?”