10 ways to protect your credit cards

We encourage you to follow these 10 rules to enhance the security of your credit cards. If you ignore them, you may be making it easy for the wrong people to use your cards.

  • Protect your Personal Identification Number (PIN) or secret code when using your card (at the ABM and at a merchant). Memorize your PIN. Do not write it down anywhere.

  • Change your PIN regularly and do not choose one that is too obvious (e.g., your date of birth, address or part of your telephone number). Don't share your PIN with anyone.

  • Never divulge your card number by phone unless you are doing business with a very trustworthy company. Only give the number if you initiated the transaction. Be as careful with your credit cards as you are with your cash.

  • Immediately notify the issuing company if a card is lost or stolen. Most fraudulent card use takes place within days of the card loss or theft.

  • Sign any new card upon receipt. Don't forget to destroy any cards that you no longer need so that no one else can use them.

  • Each time you use your card, make sure that you are returned the right one after paying.

  • When at work, never leave your credit cards unattended. More credit cards are stolen at work than from any other location.

  • Never leave your credit cards in your car's glove compartment. A large percentage of credit card thefts are from vehicles.

  • When travelling, keep your cards on you or in a safe location.

  • Always check your monthly account statement. Make sure that the transactions are yours.


(Source: ©2001 Canadian Bankers Association )