The cost of credit and debit card fraud in Canada is enormous – more than $738-million in 2015. It happens every day, consider this scene: A clerk rings through a full shopping cart of expensive liquor and the purchaser says the magnetic strip in his credit card is no longer working and he will read the card number to the clerk.
Blaring in the background is the car alarm a block away, the vehicle the card had been stolen from minutes before. But without proper training in fraud prevention1, the busy clerk dutifully enters the numbers and does not check the signature on the card against that on the payment slip. The criminal leaves happy, with hundreds of dollars in goods.
Credit and debit card fraud takes a number of forms. As in the case above, lost or stolen cards are used to purchase goods before the victim notifies the issuer and the card is cancelled. Card data is illegally obtained through vishing, phishing, hacking or skimming2 and used to make online or telephone purchases.
It's a race. Financial institutions introduce new security features; criminals find new ways to steal or defraud. Domestic credit card counterfeiting in Canada fell by 76 per cent between 2008 and 20153 after financial institutions issued cards with chip technology that is virtually impossible to duplicate, but overall credit card fraud increased by more than 78 per cent4 during the same period.
Sophisticated security systems and fraud experts continuously monitor transactions to prevent and identify credit card fraud and to protect cardholders. But reporting is one of the most powerful steps consumers can take to thwart future fraud, says the federal government's Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) senior fraud specialist Daniel Williams. “The information you provide is going to help somebody else. It's going to cause some type of damage to the bad guy's enterprise, and it's worth the effort. Always report. Fight the good fight.”
Protecting your HSBC card5
To keep up to date on online security, visit https://www.hsbc.ca/1/2/personal/security
For information about how HSBC protects our customers, visit http://www.hsbc.ca/1/2/personal/banking/hsbc-safeguard
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