Prevent credit card fraud

Your vigilance can help prevent credit card fraud. See our tips for more information.



Front of the card

  1. Card number: The card number has 16 digits and must be clear and even. All Visa account numbers start with "4". All Mastercard  account numbers start with "5" or "2".
  2. Bank identification number: Make sure that the first 4 digits of the embossed Visa card number match the numbers printed directly below the embossed number.
  3. Expiry date: The expiry date must be valid. Never accept an expired card and make sure the date hasn't been altered.
  4. Brand marks: The Visa brand mark must appear in the lower right, upper left or upper right corner. A "V" should be visible on the Visa brand mark when the card is placed under ultraviolet light. The Mastercard  brand mark must appear in the upper or lower right corner. The letters "M" and "C" printed on the front should be visible when the card is placed under ultraviolet light.
  5. Chip: All Canadian cards have a chip.

Back of the card

  1. Hologram: The hologram may be on the front or back of the card. A 3D hologram of a dove reflects light and appears to fly when you move the Visa card. The 3D world map hologram on the Mastercard has the word "Mastercard" printed several times in the background. It must reflect light and appear to be animated when the card is moved.
  2. Magnetic stripe: The magnetic stripe should be smooth and straight without any signs of tampering.
  3. Signature panel: Check the card for signs of alteration. The word "VOID" appears repeatedly if the signature panel has been removed or compromised. The cardholder's signature must appear on the signature panel. Never accept an unsigned credit card. The security code (CVV2 or verification value) is located to the right of the signature panel on both Visa and Mastercard  credit cards, sometimes in a white box.

02 security code

The security code (CVV2 or verification value) is used to confirm cardholder authenticity when transactions are carried out by phone or online. It’s made up of the last 3 or 4 numbers printed on the signature panel on the back of the card, or in a white box to the right of the signature panel, or on the front of the card just above the credit card number.


The code is unique to each card and does not appear on the magnetic stripe, which means fraudsters can't get hold of this data because it can only be seen by someone who is actually in possession of the card.

This feature will help you validate the cardholder's authenticity when they are not present, in order to prevent fraud-related problems. 


To help prevent fraud on card-not-present transactions, Visa now requires that the Card Verification Value 2 (CVV2) be captured for all telephone and online transactions. 

To comply with this requirement, we are making it mandatory to enter the CVV2 on all telephone and online transactions. 


Find out more about the Visa three-digit code

Find out more about the Mastercard three-digit code 

03 Authorization number

Authorization doesn't validate the transaction, it simply confirms that funds are available and the card is active at the time of the transaction. It doesn't guarantee that the person holding the card is the cardholder.


04Keeping credit card numbers

During a transaction, sensitive information such as your customers' credit card numbers is transmitted, processed and sometimes saved for a few moments. To make sure that sensitive data is protected during every step of the transaction process, PCI DSS require  the adoption of certain security measures. It's therefore important that you don't store any of this type of information, either on your computer or on paper.


05 Contactless transactions  

Based on EMV chip card technology, the contactless payment method offers increased security and protection against fraud. Transactions are as secure as if the card had been inserted in the chip reader.

download our fraud reference guide

Best practices for preventing fraud [PDF 1,6 MB]