Credit cards make it very convenient for users to make purchases away from home or online, but unfortunately they are just as easily manipulated by scam artists.
The most common types of credit card fraud involve scamming the victim into divulging their card information so it can be used to create a phony credit card, charging fraudulent transactions, or gaining access to your financial accounts.
The latest scheme to hit Canadian shores is a phony anti-virus computer program which pops up on the victim’s screen telling them that their computer has been infected with a bug. The victim is encouraged to click the link and call the hotline for assistance. They are then prompted to grant remote access to the company so it can fix the problem. The scammer then copies the hard drive and encourages the victim to purchase anti-virus protection by credit card.
The best way to avoid being a victim of credit card fraud is to protect your personal information and financial information: safeguard your card PIN numbers, only make online purchases from trusted websites, and never disclose information to a third party if you can’t verify their identity.
Here are some other top tips to keep your card safe while online shopping:
Check your banking statements regularly and contact your financial institution immediately if you find any unusual activity.
Make sure you are connected securely before you begin online shopping by using a password-encrypted connected and the latest security software installed on your computer. Avoid making online purchases through an unsecured or borrowed Internet connection.
Limit online shopping to trusted merchants. For a list of trusted merchants accepting Interac Online, visit www.interaconline.com.
Check the URL by typing the merchant’s website URL directly into your browser instead of clicking on a third-party link (such as one embedded in an email adverstisement, which may be a phishing attempt). Reputable merchants offer secure browsing, indicated by a https or SSL certificate.
Record your purchase by printing and filing a copy of your receipt, as well as the merchant’s terms and conditions.
Clear your computer’s memory cache after online shopping.
Never allow your computer to remember passwords.
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