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Don’t be afraid, just be vigilante

June is National Safety month and besides all of the concerns for your personal safety, you should also consider precautions to keep your financial information safe as well. There are ways to keep your money and your identity secure and most start with being aware and informed.
What are important ways to protect your identity?
Is starts with what you carry in your wallet and purse – don’t carry sensitive information that you don’t need.  And, don’t leave your purse or wallet in your car or unlocked anywhere. Always shred all mail and statements before discarding. ID theft is still most likely from stealing a wallet, purse or information from the trash.
Are there other ways fraudsters use to get important information?
Scammers like to use phishing emails or phone calls. Don’t ever give our personal information to someone who should know it.  For example, if your FI sends an email asking you to provide an account number, you should be suspicious of this email. Another popular fraud is someone calling to say they are from the IRS and that you will be arrested if you don’t pay your tax bill with them right now.
What other recommendations do you have for identity protection?
Don’t use a public Wi-Fi to complete personal and confidential transactions. Fraudsters can hack into open networks and capture data. You are fine to browse the internet and review social media sites but don’t perform any transactions.
Debit and credit card breaches seem to be on the rise, how can we protect ourselves?
The most important method is to monitor your accounts. Setup electronic alerts for all activity on your account and scrutinize your statement regularly for any charges that don’t belong to you. When you shop online, use a trusted retailer and website and verify it is a legitimate website.  Be really careful using mobile, it is extremely difficult to verify websites via mobile devices.
Are there other ways our credit card or debit card info can be stolen?
Yes, a common method is for fraudsters to place a scamming device over a legitimate credit card reader, this happens at cash stations and ATM machines. Always take a moment to ensure the card reader doesn’t have an extra device attached.
Are there other ways to monitor your financial information?
Yes when it comes to your credit, you either opt for the annual credit report or you can subscribe to credit monitoring services to be notified when new loans or credit inquiries are done on your social security number.  Another option is to have your credit frozen and not allow any new credit to be established unless you unlock your social security number.
What are other popular scams or fraudulent activities?
If you are homeowner, be aware of anyone offering low cost services for home repair, roofing or tree removal. If you are purchasing from an online marketplace be on the lookout for a really too good to be true deal that requires you to send money orders or wire funds. This should be a warning sign that this could be a scam attempt.

Posted: 6/12/2017 with 0 comments

Categories: Finances, Identity Theft, Money Matters, Security

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