Skimming involves the theft of account information through the MemberCard or credit card’s magnetic stripe. If your card is swiped at a fraudulent ATM or terminal, your account information can be captured and copied to a fraudulent debit card. Your PIN will also be recorded by an individual watching or through a hidden camera. Once this occurs, the fraudster will generally wait 3 to 6 months before accessing your account. Transactions are typically made at ATMs outside of the province or outside of the country. In Canada, we have taken necessary precautions to try to prevent this type of crime by introducing CHIP technology. This technology requires you insert your CHIP rather than swiping your card, which has prevented numerous incidents of fraud.
In order to protect yourself from skimming, always be aware of your surroundings and protect your PIN as you enter it in. If you are travelling outside of the country or your card is swiped instead of having the CHIP inserted, take extra precautions. Only keep one card per financial institution and update your PIN every 3 months. Review your account activity and immediately report any unusual transactions to your financial institution.
If you feel that you have been the target of fraud, report it to your financial institution, Equifax and your local police.
For more information about Fraud and how to protect yourself, go to Financial Consumer Agency of Canada