Debit/Credit Card Fraud
Payment card fraud can be difficult to
detect, as criminals may have additional pieces of ID that identify them
as the true owner of the card. For example, the criminal may also
have the birth certificate of the cardholder, or other pieces of ID that
don't use photographs. It is also common for criminals to carry
are a number of ways to prevent unauthorized purchases from being made:
- check secondary identification
(i.e. driver's licence, or other photo ID). When
checking identification, look for indications that it has
been altered in some way. The person with the stolen
credit card may also have stolen identification or obtained fake
- compare signatures of the
signed credit slip to the signature on
the credit card, and to that of the secondary ID.
- be careful when accepting
credit card numbers over the phone. Credit card
numbers should be verified and (whenever possible) backed up
with a signature check and secondary piece of
- follow all instructions and
procedures provided by the payment card companies.
If you suspect fraud write down a
description of the person and other details, such as the type of
car they were driving and their licence plate.
- avoid carrying more credit
cards than necessary. If you don't plan to use a card,
don't carry it with you.
- report lost and stolen credit
cards immediately to the financial institution and/or credit card company.
Payment cards can be cancelled preventing a criminal from
using your card.
- refrain from writing down and
carrying the P.I.N. (Personal Identification Number) of your card.
- change your P.I.N. frequently
- keep all payment card receipts,
and compare to your monthly credit statement.
This will enable you to see if unauthorized purchases have
been made. Once compared, keep or shred
the receipts and your monthly statement. Since
the credit card number appears on the statement and
receipts, someone who obtains one of these from your trash
can potentially make purchases using your card number.
- avoid giving payment card
numbers to telemarketers. Don't give telemarketers
your payment card numbers, unless you are sure they represent
a reputable company and/or initiated the call.
Con artists may contact you claiming to represent an
organization so they can get your credit card information.
Remember that criminals don't
need the payment card itself, only the card numbers.
With the numbers, a criminal could make purchases over the
phone, through mail order, or online from Internet e-commerce
sites. If a criminal is experienced enough and has the
proper equipment, a new card could be created from the stolen
information. For this reason, it's important that you
protect your payment card information just as you would the card
Report lost and/or stolen payment cards
immediately. Suspicious or unauthorized transactions should
be reported directly to your financial institution or credit card
company before contacting the police. This will help
determine if an error was made or fraud has been committed.