Payment Card (debit and credit card) fraud

“Card skimming” is an illegal act whereby your debit or credit card information is stolen or copied without your authorization for the purposes of counterfeiting credit or debit cards to access your accounts to steal money or make fraudulent purchases in stores or online. Information that is stored on the magnetic stripe of a debit card or credit card is captured and ultimately reproduced on a counterfeit card. Stolen details can also be used for identity theft.

Card skimming is a crime that affects all retail financial institutions, and can happen in a number of ways, including: a dishonest employee or merchant who copies down card numbers while a transaction is being made, or with magnetic card-reading devices and hidden cameras that obtain your passcode and card data.

Other types of credit card fraud include:

  • Internet or telephone fraud, where fraudsters use stolen credit card information through these channels to make purchases
  • identity theft, where stolen identification information is then used to apply for a credit card
  • lost/stolen card report scam, where the fraudster reports the card lost or stolen and asks for a replacement to be mailed to their address. They typically make a few transactions prior to making the report to appear as the legitimate cardholder
  • non-receipt, where stolen credit cards are intercepted in the mail and activated by the thief.

If you think you may have been a victim of card skimming or another kind of credit or debit card fraud, contact the Member Services Centre at 604.877.7000 or toll free at 1.888.Vancity (826.2489), or your branch immediately.

How we protect you

If you incur losses due to unauthorized online banking or debit card transaction activity, you will be reimbursed as long as you fulfill all of your responsibilities under the Account and Services Guide.

When a Vancity debit card (or MemberCard) is compromised, we block the cards from further use so that a fraudster can’t access money from your account. You will need to re-PIN your card (change your passcode) to use your card again.

We’ve also implemented the latest chip and PIN technology on our Vancity Visa and MemberCards that gives you an added layer of security. The card must be used with the correct PIN – which is known only to you wherever your cards are accepted.

Top five things you can do to avoid credit and debit card fraud

  • Under no circumstances provide anyone with your credit or debit PIN. Provide personal information only when you are sure you know who you are talking to and there is good reason to provide it, and give your credit and debit card information only to websites you trust and know to be legitimate.
  • Treat your cards like cash and make sure you never lose sight of them.
  • Use your hand or body to shield your passcode when you are conducting transactions at an automated teller machine (ATM) or at a point-of-sale terminal. If a machine looks like its been tampered with, don’t use it and alert the vendor.
  • Check your card statements regularly. Always report unauthorized or suspicious transactions to your financial institution immediately. Monitor your account activity by using our online banking or mobile app.
  • If your credit and debit card is lost, stolen or retained by an ATM, notify your financial institution immediately.
For more information on how to protect yourself from credit/debit card fraud and card skimming, visit our section on debit and credit card use.
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