Notice something odd on your banking or credit card statement? If you see a charge on your debit or credit card that you didn’t make or approve, here’s what you can do.

What to do if you see unauthorized charges on your account

With information adapted from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), here are some steps to take if you believe there have been unauthorized charges on your accounts:

  1. Change your passwords immediately
  2. Notify your bank or credit card issuer immediately
  3. Report any transactions you didn’t make or approve
  4. Check your credit report for any credit you didn’t apply for
  5. Read your credit card or debit card agreements carefully so you’re clear on the terms and conditions and any important time frames


Credit cards: When an unauthorized transaction is made with your credit card, your maximum liability, by law, can’t be more than $50.00. However, if your PIN was used at an ATM, you may be liable for the entire amount. Your credit card agreement must explain your maximum liability if your card is used without your permission. Learn more about the rules when it comes to lost or stolen credit cards.

Debit cards: You’re protected against unauthorized transactions when you use a debit card. If you took the necessary steps to protect your PIN, you should get your money back. Learn more about when you may be liable.

Making a complaint

According to the FCAC, all federally regulated banks must have a complaint-handling procedure in place for handling unauthorized transactions. Learn how to make a complaint.

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About Consumer Protection BC

We are responsible for regulating specific industries and certain consumer transactions in British Columbia. If your concern is captured under the laws we enforce, we will use the tools at our disposal to assist you. If we can’t help you directly, we will be happy to provide you with as much information as possible. Depending on your concern, another organization may be the ones to speak to; other times, court or legal assistance may be the best option. Explore our website at