Skip to content

Police offer tips to avoid credit card fraud

Police say there has been an increase in fraudulent transactions involving credit cards in recent months
retail shopping debit credit stock

Over the past few months, the Niagara Regional Police have seen an increase in fraudulent transactions involving credit cards. Given the concerns with COVID-19, many business transactions are being conducted by telephone or email preventing businesses from knowing their customers. Fraudsters are taking advantage of the situation and making purchases by credit card, without being physically present at a store. This is referred to as a ‘card not present transaction’.

These frauds occur when a credit card is illegally obtained and a large order of merchandise is ordered by email or phone, without the cardholder being present. The card is later found to be fraudulent or stolen, however, this is usually after the order has been picked up or delivered, resulting in a financial loss or "charge back" to the business.

This scam can impact any business which sells merchandise and is frequently done by first time customers. In many situations, the product is delivered to an address outside the Niagara Region. Businesses are reminded to confirm cheques, money orders, banks drafts prior to releasing any product.

Tips to reduce card not present scams:


  • Collect as much customer information as possible
  • Verify the phone number, address and transaction information
  • Examine priority shipment requests
  • Validate orders from repeat customers that differ from the established pattern
  • Question orders that are to be shipped out of province or a post office box


  • Regularly review your account statements
  • If your credit card is lost/stolen, report it immediately
  • Do not provide credit card information over the phone, if you did not initiate the phone call
  • Ensure webpages are encrypted

If you have been a victim of a scam and experienced a financial loss, please call the Niagara Regional Police Service at 905-688-4111 "dispatch", to report it.  If you did not experience a financial loss, please report it by contacting the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501 or