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Fraud Awareness Month

Surrey Board of Trade releases Fraud Awareness Advocacy positions and Business Fraud Awareness event
March is Fraud Awareness Month.

How safe is that debit machine and are all of your employees completely trustworthy?

It's just a couple of issues being looked at during Fraud Awareness Month (March).

The Surrey Board of Trade is hosting several seminars during the month to help businesses protect themselves against several types of fraud.

On Thursday, March 24, The Surrey Board of Trade will hear from industry panel experts on how you can protect your business against unnecessary financial loss from your business.

Subjects include:

• Counterfeit products, led by RCMP Const. Benjamin Smith, Border Integrity Program

• Point of Sale PIN pad switches and debit card theft/fraud, led by RCMP Sgt. Tony Farahbakhchian, Pacific Counterfeit Coordinator, E-Division.

• Employee Fraud: Signs and how to deal with it, by Jeff Burton, of the Burton Report on Crime.

• Identity Theft, led by George Greenwood, Canadian Identity Resources

The seminars will be held on Thursday, March 24th from 8-10 am at the Surrey Board of Trade Conference Room, in suite 101,  14439-104 Avenue.




The board is also looking for government advocacy positions this month.

1. Inconsistant truncation of credit and debit card numbers on receipts


One of the first is to deal with inconsistent truncation of credit and debit card numbers on receipts.

To protect the privacy of credit and debit card holders from identity theft arising from a non-consistent approach to truncating numbers on receipts from electronic transactions. In day to day transactions where credit and debit cards are used to purchase goods and services, the receipts arising from these transactions contain the card number used, with four of the account numbers omitted (truncated) to protect the integrity of the account and the security of the card holder. The Surrey Board of Trade's research indicates that the method of truncation poses some risk to the card-holder from individuals who may be engaged in identity theft.  The problem arises from the way that different industries perform that truncation:

  • Some businesses (typically restaurants) truncate the 16 digits from the left
  • Some businesses (typically fuel sellers) truncate the 16 digits from the right
  • Some businesses (including some banks) truncate from the middle
  • Some businesses do not truncate at all

A former ID thief has told us that with a little persistence one can gather an array of receipts on an individual, from variety of transactions, which could make it relatively easy for a perpetrator to determine the full number and proceed to plunder yet another unsuspecting individual. The advice we have received along with conclusions from our own investigations

Surrey Board of Trade recommendation to Federal Government:  To require that all truncation of credit card account information appearing on receipts be consistent

in all electronic point of sale transactions.


2. ID theft protection


The Surrey Board of Trade is also calling for ID theft protection certificates.

The issue of compromised or stolen identification as well as the commission of crimes against the victim (which can be people or companies), by persons using false ID, are of particular concern to the Surrey Board of Trade.

The Surrey Board of Trade has been active in trying to reduce Identity Theft as well as mitigate the impact of ID Theft once it has occurred.

People in business may, by virtue of increased travel and use of credit and debit cards, be both; more vulnerable to theft of ID materials, and at risk of loss of assets and, in extreme circumstances, arrest and detention in the face of warrants arising from such ID abuse.

In short, if someone commits crimes in your name and uses your ID, how do you prove that you are the innocent party? How do you do this in a timely manner and do so without it affecting your reputation?

In 2007, the Surrey Board of Trade successfully brought a resolution on ID Theft to the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, which subsequently has been on the policy books of the organization.  Many of the aspects of this resolution have found their way in to the new federal government legislation proclaimed into law this past spring.

One of the aspects of our resolution was with respect to protecting victims of this crime from further disruption or legal sanction as a result of illegal actions by the thief, by making available to the victim, a document which could be presented to prove quickly and securely, that the individual was a legitimate victim of ID theft.

The Surrey Board of Trade's recommendation to the federal government is to use as a vector of proof, the BC Driver’s licence and/or the BC Identity Card.

When queried, the card could invoke the holder’s status as an ID Victim, and provide appropriate authorities with corroborating information, including photo ID and possibly finger prints, if/when a victim were challenged or even incarcerated, and had to prove their status in such circumstances.

The Board of Trade feels this would be both cost effective and highly efficient as virtually all individuals carry these devices. This will provide a way of tracking perpetrators and could  be an instrument  to assist in setting convictions of the appropriate identity thieves. The Surrey Board of Trade's goal is to make business owners and operators, as well as the general public, more secure in the event of such unfortunate circumstances.


3. Privacy breaches


The board is also looking for requirements to notify the Privacy Commissioner upon privacy breaches, by harmonizing its personal Information Protection Act with those of the province of Alberta for privacy incidents.

Amendments to the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) of Alberta (Bill 54) were proclaimed in force on May 1, 2010, and a new requirement for organizations to notify the Information and Privacy Commissioner of incidents “involving the loss of or unauthorized access to or disclosure of personal information where a reasonable person would consider that there exists a real risk of significant harm to an individual” was added.  PIPA was also amended to give the Commissioner the power to require organizations to notify individuals to whom there is a real risk of significant harm as a result of such an incident.  Note that this is the provincial PIPA legislation and not the federal PIPEDA.

The board said that during the Special Committee to Review the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) of BC in 2008, there were several submissions to have this put into action within the Act.  The Surrey Board of Trade asks the British Columbia government needs to enact legislation regarding this subject as Alberta has. The Surrey Board of Trade has asked for the current status of that plan, possible timetable for implementation and if there is any assistance Surrey Board of Trade can provide to help it along.