Canadians use their debt cards millions of times each day for purchases and cash withdrawals from Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). In fact, Canadians are one of the biggest users of debit cards and ATMs in the world. With the Interac shared services, cardholders have convenient access to their cash 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
While Interac shared services are among the most secure in the world, debit card fraud can occur. Interac Association and its members continue to work together to protect cardholders from debit card fraud.
You can help keep their money safe by protecting your debit cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN) and by following these important steps:
- Use your hand or body to shield you PIN when you are conducting transactions at an ATM or point-of-sale terminal.
- Never let your debit card out of your sight when conducting a transaction. Only allow your card to be swiped once and always remember to take your debit card and transaction record with you once your transaction is completed.
- Regularly check your statements and balances to verify all transactions have been properly documented. If entries do not accurately reflect transaction activities (for example, if there are missing or additional transactions) you should contact your credit union immediately.
- If your debit card is lost, stolen or retained by an ATM, notify your credit union as soon as you become aware of the problem.
- Your debit card and PIN are the keys to your account(s). Never disclose your PIN to anyone or you could be liable for any losses. You are the only person who should know it. Keep your card in a safe place and never lend it to anyone.
- Memorize your PIN – it’s your electronic signature. If you suspect that someone knows your PIN, change it immediately or contact your credit union to cancel the card, and obtain a new one.
- When selecting your PIN, never use obvious information. You could be liable for losses if you create your PIN by using your telephone number, date of birth, address or social insurance number.
- Only conduct transactions when and where you feel secure. If anyone tries to distract you, complete what you are doing and retrieve your card before doing anything else. If you cannot retrieve your card, call your credit union immediately.
- In a proven case of fraud, victims are protected by the Canadian Code of Practice for Debit Card Services and will not suffer any financial losses. Each case is reviewed on an individual basis by your credit union.
Remember, safety comes first. Cardholders should not take unnecessary risks.