Canadian Bankers Association

Canadian Bankers Association

March 03, 2008 12:03 ET

Fraud Protection Tips for Students and Youth-Canadian Bankers Association

March is Fraud Prevention Month

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 3, 2008) - March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada and the Canadian Bankers Association (CBA) wants to remind students and youth about the simple steps they can take to keep their money safe and out of the hands of criminals.

Everyone knows to protect their wallet, but are you just as careful about protecting access to your bank accounts, credit cards and personal information?

"Regardless of age, everyone needs to be aware of how they can help protect their money from fraud," said Nancy Hughes Anthony, President and CEO of the CBA. "Banks work hard to protect their customers and educate them about how fraud happens. Whether you're using your debit or credit cards, or surfing or banking online, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your money."

The CBA's "There's Something About Money" website for students and youth (www.yourmoney.cba.ca) is a great resource to learn more about money generally, and the "Protecting Your Money and Yourself" section has tips and advice on how banks are protecting you and how you can protect yourself. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you're out shopping or using the Internet:

At the mall

- Protect your PIN - when using your debit card at the store or ABM, use your shoulder or your hand as a shield when you enter your PIN into the keypad. Criminals can't commit debit card fraud without your PIN, so keep it safe.

- Never lend your card or share your PIN with anyone. You have a responsibility to keep your PIN a secret and to never loan your card to anyone.

- Keep your cards hidden - the most common sources for credit card thieves are cards in wallets left in full-view at work, school, or in your car so keep them hidden.

- Do your homework - Always check your monthly bank and credit card statements. Report anything unusual immediately to your bank or credit card issuer.

Surfing Online

- Be careful - social media sites like Facebook and MySpace can be a goldmine for identity thieves, so don't post your birthday year, address or any other sensitive personal information.

- Be suspicious - it may sound like an irresistible online offer, but think twice. As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is - watch out for scams.

- Know who you're dealing with - look for a toll-free number (that works!) or the company's mailing address before dealing with them.

Internet banking

Online banking is very safe and banks have significant security measures to protect your accounts, but you have a responsibility to ensure that your computer stays healthy. Here are a few more tips:

- Install and maintain a firewall to guard against unwanted access to your computer.

- Install proven anti-virus, anti-spam and anti-spyware software and keeping them updated.

- Change your online banking password regularly, use hard-to-guess passwords (e.g. using a combination of letters and numbers), and never share your password with anyone, even family members.

- Don't fall for a phishing scam. Your bank will never ask you for your account numbers or passwords through e-mail, so if you receive a phishing e-mail, report it and then delete it.

Canadians are well-protected against fraud

Banks have highly sophisticated security systems in place and teams of fraud experts to monitor transactions, protect customers, detect debit and credit card fraud and phishing attacks and prevent them from happening.

When using debit cards, consumers are protected by the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services which guarantees that, if they are the victim of debit card fraud, they will get their money back from their financial institution.

Credit card users are only responsible for the maximum liability set out in their cardholder agreement (usually $50). Some cards (Visa and MasterCards for example) offer additional protection in the form of a zero-liability policy which means that the cardholder is not responsible for any fraudulent charges.

March is Fraud Prevention Month

March has been designated Fraud Prevention Month by the Fraud Prevention Forum (FPF), of which the Canadian Bankers Association and banks are members. The Fraud Prevention Forum is a concerned group of private sector firms, consumer and volunteer groups, government agencies and law enforcement organizations that are committed to fighting fraud aimed at consumers and businesses. Through its partners, the Forum, which is chaired by the Competition Bureau, works to prevent Canadians from becoming victims of fraud by educating them on how to recognize it, report it and stop it.

The Canadian Bankers Association works on behalf of 54 domestic chartered banks, foreign bank subsidiaries and foreign bank branches operating in Canada and their 249,000 employees to advocate for efficient and effective public policies governing banks and to promote an understanding of the banking industry and its importance to Canadians and the Canadian economy.

Contact Information

  • Canadian Bankers Association
    Melanie Minos
    (416) 362-6093, ext. 220 or Cell: (416) 587-7733
    Email: mminos@cba.ca