Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada

January 19, 2007 11:36 ET

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada: Risk of Fraud Affecting Credit Card Users

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Jan. 19, 2007) - The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) is today advising all Canadian credit card holders, and specifically those who have made purchases at Winners or HomeSense between December 2006 and January 17, 2007, to verify and monitor all financial transactions charged to their credit card accounts.

FCAC's advice follows a January 17th announcement by TJX Companies Incorporated that it had suffered an unauthorized intrusion into its computer systems that process and store information related to customer transactions. TJX is the parent company for Winners and HomeSense. The stolen information could be used to defraud consumers by making unauthorized purchases with cardholders' credit card numbers.

FCAC recommends consumers:

- verify the latest transactions on their credit card account either online, in-person or over the phone with their financial institution;

- pay special attention to their regular credit card statements, including past statements;

- report any suspicious charges to their card issuer immediately, using the telephone number listed on the back of their card; and

- request a copy of their credit report to verify that they have not been the victim of fraud. More information about how to get a free copy of your credit report can be found in FCAC's publication Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score. Understanding Your Credit Report and Credit Score is available on FCAC's Web site (www.fcac.gc.ca) in the Publications section, or consumers can request a free copy by calling the Agency.

In accordance with the companies' respective "zero-liability" policies, MasterCard and Visa customers affected by the breach should not face any financial losses in the event of fraud.

FCAC oversees public commitments made by federally regulated financial institutions and is responsible for enforcing federal laws that protect consumers in their dealings with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. If you have been the victim of fraud and are being held liable, or for more information on your rights and responsibilities, please contact FCAC toll-free at: 1-866-461-3222.

For more information on how to avoid, detect and resolve credit card fraud, please see the Playing it Safe booklet in the publications section of FCAC's Web site.

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