March is already here, and you know what that means—spring in Alberta is on it’s way! And, while many of us are looking forward to warmer weather this month, at ATB we’re also excited to share with you our best fraud prevention tips to keep you and your family’s finances safe. After all, March is fraud prevention month.
As the world becomes more digital, and the scammers become more sophisticated, keeping your money safe is a continuous concern. But not to worry, we’ve put together our top 8 tips to avoiding credit card fraud this month.
1. Properly dispose of any documents with credit card information
Stealing and using your credit card information can be as simple as finding old credit card statements in your garbage. A simple fix; shred any documents that contain personal banking information, including all credit card statements. This will discourage any fraudsters that might be going through your garbage.
2. When making a purchase, keep an eye on your credit card
If the merchant insists on taking your card out of sight, go with them. Don’t let your card out of sight!
3. If something seems suspicious, report it
Trust your gut! If you’re making a payment at a credit card terminal and something doesn’t seem quite right, contact the business’s head office and your credit card company immediately. Devices known as card skimmers can be hidden and used to copy the information in the magnetic strip of your card.
Card skimmers can also be found at gas pumps or ATMs. So if something doesn’t feel quite right, try another machine.
4. Avoid giving out credit card information to online sites you don’t recognize
Be aware of who you are giving your credit card information to, making sure it is only to companies you trust. If it’s a website you haven’t used before such as a new business, do your research to determine if it is a credible and secure site. To be a secure website, it should have https:// ahead of the URL and a lock icon in the address bar.
5. If someone asks for your credit card information over the phone, ASK QUESTIONS
If a company calls “requiring” you to give your confidential information over the phone or leaves you a message to return a phone call, it is likely a scam. Avoid returning any calls to a phone number that has been left even if they claim it is urgent.
If you pick up the phone, remember to ask questions before sharing any information. If the caller insists that the matter is urgent, don’t feel pressured. If a payment is required it can be done in person whether it is at a branch or office location.
Rule of thumb; only give out your personal information on phone calls initiated by you! In addition, when making these phone calls make sure you are not in a place where someone may overhear you share your credit card information.
6. If you lose your card, report it
Let your bank know immediately if you lose your credit card. This allows them to cancel that card sooner and avoid the risk of any charges to that account done without your knowledge. It also reduces your chances of disputing false charges down the road.
7. Avoid clicking on unexpected emails from “your bank” or “credit card company”
Despite how authentic an email from your credit card company or another business may look, don’t open it if it’s not an email you typically receive. These fraudulent emails are known as phishing scams and fraudsters have become very good at replicating your bank’s branding.
If you do click on an email that doesn’t seem quite right, including spelling and grammatical errors, close it immediately and do not click on any links within the email or disclose any personal information.
8. Set Mastercard fraud alerts
You can also protect yourself from becoming a victim of credit card fraud by setting up credit card fraud alerts. ATB Mastercard® fraud alerts will send you a text message whenever we spot irregular or suspicious account activity on your card. Learn more here!
Visit our content hub to learn more about how to protect your personal and business finances from fraud.
® Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used under licence.