With the advent of Internet commerce, awareness of credit card fraud has increased. The good news is that you can minimize any chance of fraud happening to you just by following some basic practices. This section provides those safety tips as well as common-sense information that will help you protect your credit whether shopping on the Internet or travelling.
Online safety tips
- Buy from reputable sites.
- Check the lower left corner of your browser window for a padlock or key icon whenever you're on a screen that sends personal information or credit card numbers. If the padlock is closed or the key is intact, security technology will scramble your credit card number and personal information as it's being transmitted to the merchant.
- Print out the screen that confirms your transaction and hang onto it as a receipt. If you don't have a printer, save the confirmation in your computer.
- Carefully read privacy and security ttements before you buy.
- Never provide your credit card number via email.
- If you suspect your card number has been mishandled, report it to your credit card issuer right away.
Other safety tips
- Make a list of all your credit card numbers, their expiry dates and the phone number you call for each in case it's stolen. Keep this list in a safe place. Don't keep it in your wallet. Consider a card registration plan such as CardAssist Card Registry Service which will quickly contact each issuer for you should your wallet get stolen.
- Cut up expired credit cards immediately.
- Sign your name on new and replacement cards the moment you receive them and be sure to activate your new credit card according to the instructions provided. Keep receipts and carbons with you until after the transactions have appeared on your credit card statement.
- Shred old statements and receipts that may have your account number on them before throwing them out.
- Never give your account number to an unknown person calling you over the phone. Beware of anyone who says you've won a valuable prize and you need to give them your credit card number to claim it.
- Safeguard your personal information, including your social insurance number, your personal identification number (PIN), your date of birth, mother's maiden name, address and telephone number. Merchants should never require your address or telephone number, unless they will be shipping goods to your home.
- Do not use your credit card for personal identification. Use your driver's licence.
- Do not write your card number on any document that is not associated with your account.
- Check your monthly statement carefully and report billing errors to your credit card issuer as soon as possible and always within 30 days of the statement date.
- Report lost or stolen credit cards as soon as you discover they are missing.