Protect your PIN, and your money


We’re taught that it’s nice to share. But sometimes you should keep things to yourself. Here are some tips to keep your personal information and money safe in the bank.

Don’t share your PIN

The personal identification number (PIN) you use to authorize transactions on your debit or credit card is one thing that should never be shared.

“As soon as you share your PIN with another person, you lose the fraud protection your financial institution otherwise must provide to cover unauthorized transactions made on your bank account or credit card,” says Lucie Tedesco, commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). “In other words, you can be held financially responsible for any fraudulent transactions.”

Safeguard your PIN

To protect your PIN and your finances:

• Make your PIN a hard-to-guess number. Do not use 1234.

• Change your PIN often.

• Hide the keypad with your hand or body when you are entering your PIN.

• Check your accounts regularly for unauthorized transactions, and notify your bank or financial institution as soon as you discover one.

• When using your credit card, keep it in sight at all times.

Someone’s using my PIN

If you become a victim of fraud, contact your financial institution.

Also, notify Canada’s two credit reporting agencies—TransUnion and Equifax—to place a fraud alert on your file, order and review a copy of your credit report and make sure all accounts and debts on that document are yours.

Review your credit report at least once a year for errors and signs of identity theft. You can access your report at no cost by mail fax, telephone or in person, but if you choose to access it online there is a fee. Contact the credit bureaus about any incorrect information.