While Interac services are among the most secure and reliable forms of electronic payments in Canada, debit card fraud may still occur.
What we're doing about fraud
In 2007, $106.8 million was reimbursed to victims of fraud as a result of debit card skimming. Victims of debit card fraud are protected by the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services, and are reimbursed by their financial institutions.
While debit card fraud represents a fraction of one percent of all transactions, Interac Association takes significant steps to prevent debit card fraud and protect cardholders. Interac Association works together with members such as Creative Arts to ensure that the Interac services remain among the most secure in the world. Following are some of the initiatives that Interac Association is involved with.
Interac Association is transitioning to chip technology, a new generation of payment card technology that will put the power of a computer onto the card.
Microchips will be embedded into debit cards, providing increased protection against debit card fraud. The first Interac chip transactions are currently taking place in Kitchener-Waterloo as part of a market trial in collaboration with the major credit card companies.
See chip for more information.
Monitoring and Detection
Interac Association’s members have technology in place to monitor unusual activity and prevent debit card fraud. Interac Association works closely with fraud experts, business partners and law enforcement to monitor unusual activity and take immediate steps to protect cardholders.
Education and Awareness
Interac Association and member financial institutions such as credit unions play an active role in raising public awareness about the importance of debit card protection, and work closely with law enforcement and other partners to implement fraud prevention and education programs, such as the Protect Your PIN consumer awareness campaign, and Project Protect, a collaborative initiative focused on educating merchants about how they can help prevent payment card fraud.
See Project Protect or Protect your PIN for more information
Types of fraud
Debit Card Fraud
Debit card skimming involves the unauthorized copying of electronic data from your debit card magnetic stripe. Hidden equipment, such as pinhole cameras and card reading devices, are installed to obtain your PIN and card data. Stolen electronic data is then encoded onto a counterfeit card, which is used to withdraw funds without your knowledge.
How to protect yourself
Shield your PIN with your hand or body during every transaction whether you're at the merchant or an Automated Banking Machine and check your financial statements regularly for any unusual activity. See Protect Your PIN.
Email fraud or phishing is a scam where fraudsters attempt to acquire personal and/or financial information, such as passwords, card numbers, etc., by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business through electronic communications. Phishing is typically carried out using email or an instant message, although phone contact has been used as well. In some instances, the fraudster sends authentic-looking emails, appearing to come from legitimate companies, requesting recipients to disclose personal and/or financial information that is later used to commit fraud.
How to protect yourself
If you receive an email that you suspect is fraudulent, claiming to be from Interac Association or your credit union, do not respond. Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org and then delete the email immediately.
If you have already responded to this kind of email and have disclosed your personal financial information, please contact Creative Arts immediately.
Do not provide personal or financial information to anyone in an email. Creative Arts does not send emails asking customers to provide, confirm or update personal records.
Be suspicious of email attachments from unknown sources. If you do not know or recognize the sender of the email, do not open the attachment.
Always check that emails you have received do not contain viruses by running your anti-virus software.
Do not share or provide your personal information.
Exercise caution if you receive an Interac Email Money Transfer that you are not expecting. Before proceeding, confirm with the person sending the Interac Email Money Transfer by separate email or by phone.
If it happens to you
Contact Creative Arts immediately. You are protected by the Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services, under which victims of debit card fraud will not suffer any financial losses.