To guard yourself from debit card fraud, follow these steps:

  • Keep your debit card in a safe place and never lend it to anyone.
  • Never give your personal identification number (PIN) or password to anyone, including friends, family, staff at your financial institution or the police. If you suspect that someone other than you knows your PIN, change it immediately and notify your financial institution.
  • Memorize your PIN and avoid writing it down. When you must do so, make sure that it is well disguised, for example, by re-arranging the numerals or substituting other numerals or symbols, and keep it within a record of other information that you store separately from your debit card.
  • When selecting a PIN do not use obvious information. The bank might not reimburse you for any money you lost if you used your name, address, telephone number, date of birth or social insurance number for your PIN.
  • If your card is lost, stolen or gets stuck in the bank machine, notify your financial institution immediately.
  • If you notice anything on your monthly statement that doesn’t seem quite right (an extra or a missing purchase, for example), notify your financial institution immediately and change your PIN. It is possible that the information on your card has been stolen at a bogus machine and you may be targeted for theft.

When purchasing goods or services or when using a bank machine, remember these tips:

  • Never let your debit card out of your sight; swipe the card yourself, if you can. When you can’t swipe it yourself, watch to make sure that it is not being double-swiped.
  • Watch out for “shoulder surfers”—people who read your PIN as you enter it. Use your hand or body to shield the keypad to prevent others from seeing you enter your PIN.
  • Only conduct debit transactions when and where you feel secure.
  • If anyone tries to distract you at a bank machine, complete what you are doing and retrieve your card and money before talking to the person.
  • After completing a transaction, remember to take your card and the transaction record.

If you’ve already been defrauded, notify your financial institution and the police. There are other steps you may wish to take as well. For more information on those steps and on how to protect yourself against debit card fraud, go to Protecting Yourself Against Debit Card Fraud, found on the Office of Consumer Affairs’ website.

The Canadian Code of Practice for Consumer Debit Card Services is a voluntary code that outlines consumers’ and the financial industry’s responsibilities in debit card fraud. Visit the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) to view the code.

Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC)

6th Floor
427 Laurier Avenue West

Ottawa, Ontario  K1R 1B9

Telephone: 613-996-5454
Toll Free: 1-866-461-FCAC (3222)
Toll Free 2: 1-866-914-6097
Phone (TTY): 613-947-7771
Fax: 613-941-1436


Provincial and Territorial Consumer Affairs Offices


Service Alberta, Consumer Contact Centre
3rd Floor Commerce Place
10155-102 Street

Edmonton, Alberta  T5J 4L4

Telephone: 780-427-4088
Toll Free: 1-877-427-4088


British Columbia

Consumer Protection BC
#307-3450 Uptown Blvd
PO Box 9244

Victoria, British Columbia  V8W 9J2

Telephone: 604-320-1667
Toll Free: 1-888-564-9963
Fax: 250-920-7181



Consumer Protection Office, Manitoba Justice
302-258 Portage Avenue

Winnipeg, Manitoba  R3C 0B6

Telephone: 204-945-3800
Toll Free: 1-800-782-0067
Fax: 204-945-0728


New Brunswick

Financial and Consumer Services Commission
225 King Street, Suite 200

Fredericton, New Brunswick  E3B 1E1

Toll Free: 1-866-933-2222
Fax: 506-444-4494


Newfoundland and Labrador

Service NL
PO Box 8700

St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador  A1B 4J6

Telephone: 709-729-2600
Toll Free: 1-877-968-2600
Fax: 709-729-6998


Northwest Territories

Consumer Affairs, Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
5201-50th Avenue, Suite 600
PO Box 1320

Yellowknife, Northwest Territories  X1A 2L9

Telephone: 867-767-9161 ext 21022
Fax: 867-873-0309


Nova Scotia

Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Public Enquiries
Mail Room, 8 South
Maritime Centre
1505 Barrington Street

Halifax, Nova Scotia  B3J 3K5

Telephone: 902-424-5200
Toll Free: 1-800-670-4357
Fax: 902-424-0720



Consumer Affairs, Department of Community and Government Services
3090 – 9th Street
P.O. Box 440

Baker Lake, Nunavut  X0C 0A0

Telephone: 867-793-3303
Toll Free: 1-866-223-8139
Fax: 867-793-3321



Consumer Protection Ontario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Box 450
1201 Wilson Ave, Station A

Toronto, Ontario  M3M 1J8

Telephone: 416-326-8800
Toll Free: 1-800-889-9768
Phone (TTY): 416-229-6086
Phone (TTY) 2: 1-877-666-6545
Fax: 416-326-8665


Prince Edward Island

Consumer Services, Department of Justice and Public Safety
Shaw Building, 4th Floor
95 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island  C1A 7N8

Telephone: 902-368-4580
Telephone: 902-368-4550
Toll Free: 1-800-658-1799
Fax: 902-368-5283



Office de la protection du consommateur
400 Jean-Lesage Boulevard, Suite 450

Québec, Quebec  G1K 8W4

Telephone: 418-643-1484
Toll Free: 1-888-672-2556
Fax: 418-528-0976


Consumer Services, Department of Community Services
307 Black Street

Whitehorse, Yukon  Y1A 2N1

Telephone: 867-667-5111
Toll Free: 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5111
Fax: 867-667-3609