Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Security Tips to Help Canadians Fight Debit Card Fraud from Interac®

TORONTO, March 21, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - With Fraud Prevention Month coming to a close at the end of March, Interac Association urges Canadians to remain vigilant about debit card security year-round. Fighting fraud is a collective effort and with a few handy tips in mind, consumers can take steps to stay secure when using Interac services.

"Through sophisticated fraud monitoring, coordination with law enforcement and industry players, and ongoing product innovation, such as the migration to chip technology, we are helping to make a safe payments system even more secure," said Caroline Hubberstey, Director, Public and Government Affairs, Interac Association and Acxsys Corporation.

Recent data from Interac Association shows that debit card fraud has declined year-over-year. Dollars lost to debit card fraud decreased 16 percent from $142.3 million in 2009 to $119 million in 2010. Similarly, the number of Interac Debit cardholders who had funds reimbursed as a result of debit card skimming decreased from 238,000 cardholders in 2009 to 205,200 in 2010 - down 14 percent.

While fraud is a serious concern, the data reflects the safety of the Interac network. In 2010, 99.99 percent of the nearly 4 billion Interac Debit transactions, valued at more than $175 billion dollars, were processed without incident.

"While this decline in fraud is positive, the aggressive fight against fraud continues and we want to remind cardholders that they can also help," said Hubberstey. "With this in mind, we've compiled tips to help cardholders stay security savvy when using their debit cards to make purchases in-store or to obtain money from ABMs."

Interac cardholder security tips:

...Insert first - To avoid an unnecessary swipe of your card and reduce the potential of fraudulent card skimming, insert your chip debit card into a merchant's terminal. If the terminal is not chip capable, it will prompt you to swipe your card.

...Protect your PIN - When entering your PIN at a terminal or ABM, shield your PIN with your hand or body.

...Check your statements - Check your financial statements regularly. If you see unusual activity, contact your financial institution immediately. Cardholders who experience fraud are protected through the Interac Zero Liability Policy and do not suffer any financial losses.

...Memorize your PIN - Do not share your PIN with friends or family members and do not use easily guessable digits, like your year of birth or phone number. Change your PIN frequently.

...Keep your card in sight - Keep your debit card in sight when conducting a transaction at the checkout and remember to remove it from the terminal after.

...Report a lost card - Notify your financial institution immediately if your debit card is lost or stolen.

To learn more about Interac fraud prevention, visit

For more information on chip technology, visit

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