Canadians may be affected by U.S. credit card hack
Published Saturday, March 31, 2012 10:16PM EDT
Credit card users beware: U.S. hackers may have gleaned your account information in a major security breach.
A large North American credit card payment processing firm, Global Payments, discovered earlier this month that its system had been hacked. More than 10 million credit card accounts may have been compromised, according to reports.
Visa and MasterCard both said they are now investigating transactions from January and February. It appears that several other U.S. banks and credit card companies are also affected.
Better Business Bureau of British Columbia spokesperson Mark Fernandes said it's possible that Canadian credit cards have been compromised as well.
"We're hoping that it's limited, but there is a strong possibility," he told CTV British Columbia.
"If you have done any cross-border shopping in recent time, in recent months, you may want to look at the statements," Fernandes said.
David Skillicorn, a computer science professor at Queen's University, told CTV News Channel that stolen credit card numbers are often not used right away. It may take weeks or months before the account holder notices that something is amiss, he said.
"Lots of consumers overlook little charges that are being made on their statement and that's how people are continually able to trick them and deceive them and steal their information," Verizon Business spokesperson Andrea Woroch told CTV.
The RCMP offers these tips for protecting yourself against credit card scams, which they say have become very lucrative:
- Always check your statements and report any discrepancies to your credit card provider.
- Only give your credit card numbers to companies you trust over the phone or online.
- Beware of emails claiming to be from your credit card company or bank and asking for your account information.
"If you receive any emails supposedly from Global Payments about a security breach, it may be a phishing attempt, especially in the next couple of weeks," Fernandes warned.
Global Payments is expected to provide more details about the scope of the security breach on Monday.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Bhinder Sajan