Unauthorized credit or debit transactions can happen to anyone
(NC) More of us are using our credit and debit cards to make purchases as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But with incidences of fraud increasing as well, it’s important that you understand your rights if someone uses your card without your permission.
You also have certain responsibilities to make sure you are protected, including taking reasonable care to keep your account and PIN safe. Here are three things to keep in mind:
Protect your PIN
Keep your PIN secret. Never share it with anyone, even a family member or your caregiver. This means you cannot share your PIN with your spouse even if you have a joint account. Do not use a PIN that someone can easily guess, such as a birthday or telephone number, or keep it written down on the back of your card or on a piece of paper in your wallet. It’s also a good idea to change your PIN from time to time.
Report unauthorized use of your card right away
If your card is lost or stolen or you become aware of an unauthorized transaction, let your financial institution know right away. It’s a good practice to regularly review your credit and debit card statements to check for any transaction you didn’t make. Your credit card or debit agreement will tell you if you have to report the unauthorized transaction within a specific amount of time.
Your right to an investigation
Even if the chip and PIN were used, your financial intuition cannot automatically hold you liable for the transaction until they complete an investigation. During its investigation, the financial institution should consider all factors that contributed to the unauthorized use of your credit or debit card account. It’s important that you work with your financial institution to ensure a positive outcome.
The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada provides unbiased and fact-based information you can count on. You can learn more about how to protect yourself from unauthorized transactions at canada.ca/money.