This post is presented by Interac

March is Fraud Prevention Month in Canada. When we think of fraud, the most common thing that may come to mind is that wonderful prince in Nigeria who has sent you an email telling you he is going to share his fortune. (ALERT: He is not.) While this scam has been around for a while, there are new ways to cheat you out of your money popping up all the time. That’s why companies like Interac are always creating new security features to ensure that your money is safe.

Remember when they transitioned over to the ‘contactless purchasing’ (otherwise known as the ‘tap’) or even when the chips were first introduced on cards. Yeah, it was a little inconvenient to make that transition, but once we did, we never felt safer. Especially with our credit cards (my signature…very easy to forge).

The fraud in Canada on things like ‘debit card skimming’ has dropped by 92% since 2009. That’s technology at work. Now, even though the changes are keeping us out of overdraft, there are still some things to note when keeping those cards secure:

1. Travel Alerts

If you’re going on a trip abroad, let your bank know. They are always on the lookout for weird transactions and you don’t want them to block your access to your card because they think someone has taken your card and run off to Mexico. It’s also good for your bank to know where you are going to be if something does happen with your security while traveling.

2. Coverage

It’s a real pain in the butt to have to deal with a breach in the security of your access card, but it’s even worse if for some reason your card doesn’t have coverage. Make sure you know what you are covered for, like Interac Debit and Flash that have a zero liability policy which protects cardholders from losses beyond their control.

3. That Sketchy ATM

Fraudsters are finding it harder and harder to commit fraud on Interac debit cards in Canada, and most criminals have been migrating their activity to international non-chip environments, however, if you see an ATM that looks like it may have been tampered with, beware. Better to go to an official bank ATM and call in your suspicions on the other one.

4. Saving Your Card Numbers Online

Different online stores like Amazon and iTunes have security in place to protect your credit card information, but nothing is perfect. Better to be safe than sorry and only input your credit card number when you are going to buy something, and then delete it.

5. Card Security

Always make sure the card you are using is secure, not just in your wallet, but also when you are making your purchases. Check out what kind of security your card offers you. Look into using a card like Interac Debit or Interac Flash which are among the safest ways to pay using a payment card.

6. PIN Number Storage

This may be a no brainer, but the only place you should be storing your PIN number is in your head. Don’t put it on your card or in your wallet.

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Mike Morrison