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It's vital that you guard your credit card in the same manner that you would guard the key to your home. Here are some tips to minimize the chance of becoming the victim of credit card fraud.

Card safety

DOs

  • Sign the back of your credit card as soon as you receive it.
  • Call to activate your new credit card as soon as you receive it.
  • Keep all your receipts and promptly reconcile your receipts to the charges on your credit card statement.
  • Call 1-800-769-2512 immediately if you do not recognize a charge on your statement.
  • Store your card in a secure place where you will immediately know if it is missing.
  • Call 1-800-769-2512 immediately when you notice your card is lost or stolen.
  • Keep a close eye on your mail delivery when you are expecting a new or replacement card.
  • When you receive a new credit card, cut up the old one before you throw it away.
  • Treat your credit card like cash, never leaving it unattended.
  • Draw a line through any blank spaces on your credit card slips when paying with your credit card at places such as restaurants or retailers.
  • Keep your eye on your credit card during transactions, and ensure that your credit card has been returned to you.
  • Take all receipts and carbon copies home with you, such as those from ATM machines, self-service gasoline pumps and restaurants; destroy them by shredding before throwing away.
  • Keep a record of all your credit card account numbers in a secure place.
  • Carry your credit card number and the toll-free customer service number on the back of your card, in a secure place, separate from the card when travelling.
  • Memorize your PIN (personal identification number).

DON'Ts

  • Never lend your card to anyone.
  • When disposing of old receipts and statements, don't use public waste receptacles.
  • When you initiate a call, it is generally safe to give your credit card number over the telephone. However, don't give your credit card number to someone calling you on the telephone, even if the caller assures you that you will win a prize or award.
  • Never write or allow a retailer to write your credit card number on a cheque for identification purposes.
  • Don't make purchases from online retailers you're unfamiliar with or who maintain a site that isn't secure. If you're unsure, contact the Better Business Bureau.
  • Never share your PIN (personal identification number) with anyone.
  • Never carry your PIN in your wallet or purse.
  • Never let anyone see you input your PIN.
  • Never use a PIN that could be easily guessed, eg. Your birthday or telephone number.
  • Never leave your card unattended, eg. In your car, in a hotel room or at work.
"Phishing" or "brand spoofing" email fraud

This involves the use of fraudulent, but authentic-looking, branded emails and web sites from parties pretending to be legitimate companies, such as Royal Bank of Canada or another Financial Institution — when in fact it is a malicious attempt to collect customer information for the purpose of committing fraud.

If you receive an email that appears to be sent by a legitimate company but asks for sensitive financial information and you are suspicious about that email, contact the company's public telephone number directly to verify its authenticity. You may contact RBC at any time, 24/7, at 1-800-769-2555.

If you believe you may have inadvertently provided any sensitive information about your RBC Royal Bank credit card account, please contact us immediately at 1-800-769-2555 so we can act quickly to help prevent a possible loss.

RBC will never ask you for confidential information through regular email. RBC employees will never ask you for your PIN or password.

If someone identifies themselves as a Bank employee and asks for your password or PIN, take caution. They do not represent the Bank. Do not reveal your information to them and please contact 1-800-769-2555 immediately and ask to speak to a supervisor.

To find out more about "phishing" or "brand spoofing" sites and how to prevent becoming a victim of fraud on such sites , visit:

RBC fraud advisory — "Beware of unsolicited phoney emails"

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