Canadians are encouraged to check their credit reports monthly and at minimum, once a year. Why? Credit card fraud costs money and can affect your credit score and ruin your financial stability. According to statistics, approximately 70 million credit cards were in circulation across Canada in 2009. Of those, 541,580 accounts were compromised.
It is easy for a criminal to use the data on your credit card and make purchases without you knowing. Criminals use the latest computer technologies to read and copy the data on your credit card’s magnetic stripe and then create counterfeit versions. If enough information is gathered, criminals can essentially assume your identity and apply for loans, get credit cards and even buy a house under your name.
Prevent Card Card Fraud
Here are simple tips Canadians can do to prevent credit card fraud.
- Report lost or stolen cards as soon as you notice it’s gone. Call the credit card company and cancel your card.
- Protect your credit card number. Never give it out over the phone or internet unless you are dealing with a trustworthy company.
- Never send your credit card information over email, online chat or instant messaging (including cell phone text messages).
- Memorize your PIN number. Don’t share or write it down for anyone.
- Keep them with you or in a safe place. Treat it as cash. Never leave your card unattended.
- When making a purchase, check to make sure that the purchases on the receipt are yours.
- Beware of phone calls or emails asking you for personal and/or credit card information. Keep on top of your contacts, know which banks/businesses you deal with.
Credit Monitoring is worth the money!
Make a habit to regularly check your credit reports online. Credit monitoring services offered by the credit bureaus in Canada provide the best pro-active protection against fraud. Credit Monitoring fees costs less than a cup of coffee a day, but provide Canadians with a wealth of tools to monitor, check and update credit reports.
How does it credit monitoring work?
Credit Monitoring services offered by the credit bureau can help you spot early signs if identity theft before it happens.
- You will be notified whenever a new loan or credit card has been opened under your name.
- You will also be able to see what is being spent and what debts you have through regular online access to your credit reports.
- Provides you with 24/7 security and monitoring and you are insured against unauthorized spending.
- Regular Online access to credit reports and scores. Keep track of your credit history and health.
Credit watch services provide a value added service to Canadians.
Being a victim of credit card fraud is something many Canadians don’t think much about, yet, it happens so easily. Fraud can start the moment you loose your wallet or purse. Be pro-active and prevent credit card fraud by checking credit reports regularly.
Canadians can get their credit reports for free, however, credit monitoring services are worth the money, you may want to consider signing up for the credit bureau credit monitoring service which gives you unlimited online access to your scores and ongoing alerts on your account.