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Duncan resident recommending new app to help deter credit-card fraud

Janice Fraser scammed over Uber charges
A Duncan resident who was scammed out of hundreds of dollars when fraudsters used her credit-card information to pay for Uber rides advises people to use a new app many financial institutions are now offering that will “lock” credit cards when not in use. (Metro Creative Services photo)

Duncan’s Janice Fraser was shocked while at work early in the morning on March 21 when she checked her smart phone and watched live transactions taking place on her VISA credit card.

Fraser, an emergency nurse who works in Victoria and lives in Duncan, said someone had racked up more than $200 in Uber charges in just an hour and a half, and the charges kept on coming.

She said she called Scotiabank, which issued her VISA card, and explained what was going on, and the staff member she was talking to blocked another two additional Uber charges to her card during their conversation.


“It was startling to realize how fast you can lose money,” she said.

“I found the whole incident rather annoying because I never do anything that would cause my credit cards to be compromised, like buying merchandise from wild web sites or stores. I only take my credit cards with me when travelling and they are left at home the rest of the time.”

Fraser said that Scotiabank agreed to replace the money scammed from her credit card, and canceled the card so it has to be replaced.

She said the Scotiabank employee she was talking to said scammers have devised many high-tech ways to get at people’s credit-card information, and it can be gleaned with equipment while your credit card is in your wallet or purse and the fraudster is just standing next to you.

However, she said the employee told her about new technology Scotiabank, and other financial institutions, are now offering to fight back against scammers in which an app can be used to “lock” credit cards and debit cards so that they will be inoperative, and not able to be scammed, when not in use.


Scotiabank’s website says locking your card means that all new purchases, cash advances, or other transactions, either online or in person, will be declined when locked.

“Any interest or annual fees that apply to your account, or payments you make to your account, will still be processed while the your card is locked,” Scotiabank said.

Fraser said that, with so much credit-card fraud taking place, setting up the “lock” option with your bank only makes sense.

“It’s really simple and credit-card holders can turn on their card with a push of a button, wait a few seconds for the transaction to be approved, and then lock it down until the next transaction,” she said.

“I’d encourage people to contact their financial institutions and set up the local option on their cards.”

Robert Barron

About the Author: Robert Barron

Since 2016, I've had had the pleasure of working with our dedicated staff and community in the Cowichan Valley.
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