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Credit and debit transactions: protect yourself from fraud

Nova Scotia RCMP want citizens to be aware of the dangers of credit card and debit card fraud.

Credit and debit fraud can happen to anyone; your card could be lost or stolen and used to purchase goods and services; card data can be obtained and used to manufacture a counterfeit card; or the data could be used to make telephone or internet purchases (also referred to as “card not present” fraud).

Given the increased popularity in internet, telephone and mail shopping there has been a notable increase in transactions by credit and debit cards.

Sgt. Tom Murdock, Nova Scotia Commercial Crime Section, warns, “The introduction of chip and pin technology has helped to enhance security of credit cards, but its also forced potential fraudsters to change their methods of operations. This is why Nova Scotians should be careful and aware when using credit and debit cards.”

Nova Scotia RCMP offer these tips to help prevent you from becoming a victim of credit card fraud:

– Never give out any personal information or data over the phone.

– Shop only from your home computer. It’s much safer than shopping at a terminal in an internet café or library.

– In many instances chip and pin technology can often be bypassed, by using that Card Verification Value (security number on the back of the card). Never share this number

– Monitor your bank and credit card statements on-line. Electronic statements allow you to review your purchases and payments instantaneously.

– Never give out your social insurance number, date of birth or driver’s license number in response to an email or seller.

– If an offer sounds suspicious or too good to be true, it probably is.

– If you’re concerned that you’re a victim of fraud, immediately call your financial institution or credit card company.

By the end of 2009, approximately 545,000 compromised accounts were reported in Canada.

Throughout the month of March, Nova Scotia RCMP will be highlighting tips and information to help reduce your chances of being victimized by fraud and keep you safe from scammers.

Topics covered will include identity theft, phishing, on-line shopping, social networking and credit and debit card fraud.

Recognize it, Report it, Stop it!

For more information on credit card fraud prevention: RCMP “Scams and Frauds” page: www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-frauds.

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