We recently received a call from our credit card provider asking to confirm some recent transactions. This has happened a few times already and the only reason I can think of is that we used the credit card once at Winners last Fall (As you may recall, credit and debit card information was stolen from the parent company of Winners and HomeSense in 2006). Until now, the calls have been a mere annoyance and we were actually responsible for the transactions and the credit card provider was simply twitchy about certain orders made over the Internet.
This time though, someone tried to order discount airline tickets in Europe using our credit card number and the transaction was denied. As soon as I let them know that we did not order those tickets, the provider simply cancelled our card and promised to send new cards. Fortunately, the fraud attempt was already unsuccessful and there was no further action needed on our part. To prevent fraud or worse identity theft, be sure to take at least basic precautions:
- Check your credit card and bank statements every month and watch out for suspicious transactions, especially if you shopped at Winners or HomeSense during the period from mid-May to December 2006.
- Shred all your receipts and bills that you are throwing away.
- Order your credit reports once every year.
More fraud prevention tips, including what to do if you suspect that you are a victim of fraud can be found on the Ottawa Police website.