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    Rainbow Investigations
    513-18th Avenue SW
    Calgary, Alberta
    T2S 0C6

    Better Business Bureau of Southern Alberta

    The Rainbow Scam Report

    Credit Card Scams

    At the end of fiscal year 2005, approximately 56.4 million credit cards were in circulation across the country, with a sales volume exceeding $190.6 billion (MasterCard and Visa).

    Payment card counterfeiters are now using the latest computer devices (embossers, encoders, and decoders often supported by computers) to read, modify, and implant magnetic stripe information on counterfeit payment cards.

    Phoney identification has been used to obtain government assistance, personal loans, unemployment insurance benefits and for other schemes victimizing governments, individuals, and corporate bodies.

    Payment Card Partner Losses by type 2005

    $ Loss
    No. of accounts
    $ Avg. loss per account
    Non Receipt
    Fraudulent applications
    Fraudulent use of account
    Miscellaneous, not defined


    The criminal use of credit cards can be divided into the following categories:

    • Counterfeit credit card use: This represents the largest category of credit card fraud, involving Canadian issued cards, with 37% of all dollar losses. Organized criminals have acquired the technology that allows them to "skim" the data contained on magnetic stripes, manufacture phony cards, and overcome such protective features as holograms.
    • Cards lost by or stolen from the cardholder: Lost and stolen cards represent 23% of all card fraud losses. Typically the cards are stolen from the workplace, vehicles, health clubs, golf clubs, etc.
    • Fraud committed without the actual use of a card (no-card fraud): No-Card Fraud accounts for 10% of the all losses. Deceptive Telemarketers and now fraudulent Internet Web Sites obtain specific card details from their victims, while promoting the sale of exaggerated or non-existent goods and services. This in turn results in fraudulent charges against victims' accounts.
    • Fraud committed on cards not received by the legitimate cardholder (non-receipt fraud): Non-Receipt Fraud where cards are intercepted prior to delivery to the cardholder account for 7% of all losses. Losses attributable to mail theft have declined as a result of "card activation" programs, where cardholders must call their financial institution to confirm their identity before the card is activated. In 1992 this category accounted for 16 % of the losses.
    • Cards fraudulently obtained by criminals who have made false applications: Fraudulent Applications involve the criminal impersonation of creditworthy persons in order to acquire credit cards. Although false application losses represent only 4% of all losses, the numbers are increasing
    • Source:  RCMP


    Follow these tips to protect your money and your credit and bank cards against fraud and misuse. Your ABM/debit card is the key to your account(s). It is for your personal use only.

    Keep your card in a safe place and never 'lend' it to anyone. Conducting an ABM or debit transaction requires both your access card and your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Protect your PIN, it is your electronic signature. Don't write it down - memorize it. When selecting a PIN, always avoid the obvious - your name, telephone number, date of birth, and address. Never disclose your PIN to anyone. No one from a legitimate financial institution, police service, or business should ask for your PIN. Always conduct your ABM transactions when and where you feel most secure. If you are uncomfortable about using the machine for any reason, do it later or go to another location. To ensure privacy, use your hand or body as a shield to prevent others from seeing you enter your PIN. After completing a transaction, remember to take your card and your transaction record. After making a withdrawal from an ABM, count the cash received and put it away immediately. If your card is lost, stolen, or is retained by an ABM, notify your financial institution immediately. Most institutions offer 1-800 telephone numbers and/or 24-hour service for lost or stolen cards. Robbery rarely occurs at ABMs, but if it does happen, remember that your safety comes first: Cooperate with the robber and then report the incident to the police and your bank.

    Businesses in the U.S. are now requesting identification with all credit card purchases, and soon Canada will be doing the same.

    Here are some stories about credit card scams

    Rainbow Investigations Credit Card Stories

    Canadian Credit Card Scam Busted

    Another credit card scam involving Canadians has been busted...
    October 25, 2005

    Major Montreal Credit Card Counterfeit Operation Busted

    Two counterfeit credit cards manufacturing labs are busted in Montreal...
    June 03, 2002

    International Credit Card Scam Busted in Calgary

    18 Calgarians arrested as part of a major international counterfeit credit card operation...
    February 01, 2002

    Credit Card Fraud

    Reported credit ard fraud in Canada declined somewhat for the twelve month period ending June 30th, 2000 to $203 million dollars - down from $227 million dollars the previous year…
    August 13, 2001

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