O Canada! Shopping Fraud Abroad a Warning for U.S. All
Last year, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center reported that citizens of our neighbor to the north were cheated out of $9.5 million, through credit card fraud, cloned debit cards and cash scams. A further 11,000 were the victims of identity theft. Calls to the Fraud Center unsurprisingly spike in January, as people discover problems linked to holiday purchases.
Needless to say, online shopping is a prime target for fraud since customers send money and credit card information to people and business they do not necessarily know. Captain Louis Robertson, who heads criminal intelligence at the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre, reminds folks to do a little research before entrusting your money to a site you are unfamiliar with. "You should be a little more vigilant, a little bit more careful," Robertson says.
Here are a few reminders from our Canadian friends on how to avoid being the victim of some of Santa's more criminally minded helpers:
- Never give out personal information (SSN, driver's license, passport numbers) online.
- Don't let your card out of your sight in a store: follow your credit card to the counter and watch the transaction take place.
- Always protect your debit card PIN.
- Monitor your bank statements, and match receipts against transactions.
- Do your online research — only shop with companies you know and trust.
- Contact financial institutions and/or credit card companies immediately if you believe you've been a victim of fraud.
Have a joy-ful and fraud-less Holiday Season!
- Holiday fraud a lump of coal for last-minute Canadian shoppers (Canada.com)
- Credit / Debit Card Fraud (FindLaw)
- Get Help - Report Fraud & Safety Hazard (FindLaw)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.