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BMO Tips on Protecting Your Debit Card

March has been designated as National Fraud Protection Month in Canada, and BMO Bank of Montreal is reminding customers of the importance of protecting their debit cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN) when they conduct their banking.

Although debit card use is an extremely safe banking process – debit card fraud affects only a small percentage of accounts – it still occurs.

“Canadians use debit cards millions of times a day at banking machines and point-of-sale terminals to access their accounts and make purchases. Taking steps to protect your debit card and PIN will help reduce your risk of being a victim of fraud,” said Colin Henderson, Director, Direct Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal.

Here are some tips to help protect your debit card and PIN:

  1. Use your hand or body to shield your PIN when you are conducting transactions at an Automated Banking Machine (ABM) or at a point-of-sale terminal.
  2. Never let your banking card out of your sight when conducting a transaction at a point-of-sale terminal. Always remember to take your banking card and transaction record with you once your transaction is completed.
  3. Regularly check your statements and balances to verify all transactions have been properly documented. If entries do not accurately reflect transaction activities, for example, if there are missing or additional transactions, you should contact your BMO Bank of Montreal branch immediately.
  4. If your banking card is lost, stolen or retained by an ABM, notify your BMO Bank of Montreal branch immediately.
  5. Your banking card and PIN are the keys to your account(s). Never disclose your PIN to anyone… not even your banker. You are the only person who should know it.
  6. Memorize your PIN – it's your electronic signature. If you suspect that someone knows your PIN, change it immediately or contact your bank branch to cancel the card.
  7. When selecting your PIN, never use obvious information such as, your telephone number, date of birth, address or social insurance number.
  8. When banking online, be wary of e-mail messages or web sites asking you for your PIN number.   A legitimate financial institution will never request this information from you.

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization.  With total assets of $298 billion as at October 31, 2005, and more than 34,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.  BMO Financial Group serves clients across Canada through its Canadian retail arm, BMO Bank of Montreal, and through BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of Canada's leading full-service investment firms. 

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