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Thief spends $1.4K after stealing purse from Walmart

Early afternoon, on Saturday, Mar. 4, a purse was stolen from Walmart in Oakville, at 234 Hays Boulevard.

Fraudulent activity was later reported on a bank card, to the tune of about $1,400.

There is no description of the suspect(s).

Below, the Halton Regional Police Service has shared tips for you to safeguard yourself from frauds/thefts.

If you are the victim of a debit or credit card fraud:

  • Stay calm. Gather all information about the fraud, including documents, receipts, and/or copies of emails and/or text messages.
  • Place flags on all of your accounts.
  • Change all of your passwords.
  • Report the fraud to both credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion).
  • Contact the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) Fraud Intake Office by dialing 905-465-8741 (Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.), or by dialing 905-825-4777.
  • Report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre toll free at 1-888-495-8501.
  • Depending on the type of fraud, or how it occurred, you'll also want to report it to other organizations.

The Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) does not accept fraud reports through online reporting or via email.

How does debit card fraud happen?

Debit card fraud can happen when a thief “skims” or swipes the information off the magnetic stripe on the back of your card to create a duplicate copy of your card. They also have to capture your PIN to access your account and withdraw money or make purchases.

Debit card fraud can also happen if your card is lost or stolen and you haven't taken steps to protect your PIN.

How to protect yourself against debit card fraud:

The Canadian Bankers Association recommends you take these important steps to protect yourself against debit card fraud:

  • Always protect your PIN: use your shoulder or your hand to shield your PIN when entering it into the keypad.
  • Always insert your card first instead of swiping when making a purchase. This will protect you from having your card skimmed and, if the store terminal isn't chip capable, it will prompt you to swipe. Always remember to take your card when the transaction is done.
  • Never lend your card or disclose your PIN to anyone else.
  • Memorize your PIN; don't write it down.
  • Make sure your PIN cannot be easily detected if your card is lost or stolen — don't use your birth date or address or part of your telephone number.
  • Regularly review your transaction history online or on your monthly bank statements and report anything unusual to your financial institution immediately.
  • Change your PIN periodically.

How does credit card fraud happen?

A person can steal your credit card or credit card information by:

  • Going through your garbage or mailbox to find credit card statements or other banking information;
  • Swiping your credit card through a device that copies the information stored on the magnetic stripe of your card;
  • Hacking into the computers of companies and stealing credit card information;
  • Installing small devices on payment terminals that record your credit card information;
  • Phishing, that is, sending you an email that looks like it comes from a real business asking for credit card information; and/or
  • Asking you to use your credit card on an illegitimate website to make a “purchase.”

How to protect yourself from credit card fraud:

Prevent credit card fraud by protecting your credit card and your personal information.

Keep your PIN secret

  • Choose a PIN that is difficult to guess. For example, avoid using your birthday, Social Insurance Number, address, or telephone number as your PIN.
  • Never share your PIN with another person, not even a family member or partner.
  • Try to memorize your PIN rather than writing it down. If you write it down, make sure you keep it in a safe place away from your credit card.
  • Change your PIN often.
  • Some financial institutions offer the ability to pay with a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Keep your mobile device password and credit card PIN secret to prevent transactions you didn't make or approve.

In public places or places of business

  • Keep your credit card in a safe place.
  • Limit the number of credit cards you carry with you.
  • Cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN so no one can see it.
  • Keep your credit card in sight at all times when making a purchase.
  • Report anything you think is suspicious about a credit card device at a business or Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) to the business's head office and your credit card issuer.

At home

  • Lock your mailbox if you can to prevent someone from stealing your credit card statements or replacement cards.
  • Sign the back of a new credit card immediately after you get it.
  • Destroy old credit cards that are no longer valid by cutting them up.
  • Keep your credit card statements in a safe place.
  • Shred credit card statements when you no longer need them.


  • When banking or shopping online, look for websites with addresses starting with “https” or ones that have a padlock image on the address bar. These are signs that your information will be secure.
  • Use only trusted and secure websites when sharing personal information or buying something online.
  • Keep your computer firewall, anti-virus, and anti-spyware systems up to date.
  • Avoid giving credit card information over email as it isn't secure.
  • Avoid using public computers at libraries or Internet cafés to do your banking or online shopping.
  • Clear the history and cache of the computer when you finish your session if you're using a public computer.

Over the telephone

  • Legitimate credit card companies don't ask for personal information over the phone. Use the telephone number found on the back of your card when you want to contact your credit card issuer.
  • Avoid giving out credit card information over the phone if you're in a public place or you think somebody else may be listening.
  • Only give your credit card information to a company you trust.
  • Request further information from someone who calls asking for credit card information.

If you're unsure that the company that is calling and requesting your credit card information is legitimate, hang up and contact the Better Business Bureau.