Fighting fraud: keeping your money safe online and in-store

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(NC) No one wants to be a victim of payment fraud. Yet almost a quarter of Canadians say they have clicked on a link that resulted in a phishing scam, while 64 per cent have been tempted to click on a link they weren’t completely sure was safe.

When it comes to your money, there’s no shortage of tips for staying safe. Here are five reminders to help you stay protected, whether you’re shopping online or in-store.

Choose debit. Your card number is only an identifier, so no banking information is shared with the merchant when you make a purchase. Plus, when it comes to going contactless, Interac Flash uses secure chip processing. That makes it next to impossible to create counterfeit cards and protects against fraudulent activities like skimming or electronic pickpocketing.

Your mobile wallet is secure. Just like your debit card number is only an identifier in store, when debit is added to a mobile wallet, financial information is substituted with a token, which is a unique virtual account number that means no financial information is stored or shared with the merchant. As an added layer of security, your mobile wallet is also typically protected by Touch ID or passcode.

It’s okay to be suspicious. If you suspect anything unusual when using an ABM or point-of-sale terminal, do not use the machine but report it to your financial institution. Equally, if you’re unsure whether a phone call or email link requesting money is legitimate, hang up or ignore the email until you can confirm the source.

Always keep your banking information private. Even when using Flash, you’ll be periodically prompted to validate that you are you by entering your PIN. Protect your PIN — don’t share it with anyone and be sure to shield the PIN pad when you’re entering your number. Stay in control by checking your statements regularly to watch for any usual activity.

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