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Information from MasterCard: Protections from Card Fraud

Toronto, ON, June 22, 2005

How MasterCard cardholders are protected:

  • In Canada and the U.S., MasterCard cardholders are protected by MasterCard Zero Liability policy for unauthorized transactions on their accounts. For more details, go to
  • MasterCard cards afford consumers strong protections both in terms of fraud protection and detection, and Zero Liability policies. These protections are not available from other forms of payment.

How MasterCard detects fraud:

  • MasterCard operates a state-of-the-art, multi-level fraud monitoring system. The system looks for atypical patterns of activity on accounts and for patterns of activity consistent with fraud.
  • MasterCard can perform digital forensic investigations to determine the source of fraud.
  • MasterCard works closely with law enforcement and others in the payment industry to battle fraud and criminal activity.

What happens if MasterCard suspects a fraud or security attack:

  • MasterCard immediately notifies its card issuers of specific card accounts that may have been subject to compromise so they can take the appropriate measures to protect their cardholders.
  • MasterCard always takes this precaution regardless of whether there is any indication that fraud has resulted.
  • The issuers’ responses can include close monitoring of account activity to detect any unusual activity and notifying the cardholder to confirm recent transactions.

What information is exchanged in a credit card transaction:

  • In the processing of a MasterCard card transaction, highly sensitive information, such as social insurance numbers, dates of birth or the like, are NOT exchanged. That information is retained within the card issuer.

What consumers can do to protect themselves from fraud:

  • Always sign a new or renewed credit card as soon as it is received.
  • Keep a record of your card number in a secure place and keep your card in your wallet or purse, with you.
  • Retain credit card purchase receipts at least until the transactions appear on your statement. Cross-check that all transactions on the statement are familiar and accurate. (You may want to continue to retain your receipt for purposes such as warranties, refunds, exchanges, etc.)
  • When disposing of receipts and transaction records, shred them.
  • If you see a transaction on your statement that is not familiar, notify your card issuer immediately (emergency phone numbers appear on your credit card and statement.)
  • If your card is lost or stolen, report it to your card issuer immediately so it can launch an immediate investigation.

About MasterCard International

MasterCard International is a leading global payments solutions company that provides a broad variety of innovative services in support of our global members’ credit, deposit access, electronic cash, business-to-business and related payment programs. MasterCard International manages a family of well-known, widely accepted payment cards brands including MasterCard®, Maestro® and Cirrus® and serves financial institutions, consumers and businesses in over 210 countries and territories. The MasterCard award-winning Priceless® advertising campaign is now seen in 97 countries and in 47 languages, giving the MasterCard brand a truly global reach and scope. For more information go to