Fraud happens every day. Hopefully not to you, but it’s happening all around. Fraudsters are constantly developing new scams.
Scary, I know. But that’s what this blog is all about… how to prevent fraud. This is good information to know if you want to ensure your financial and private information is secure. Even if you know the dos and don’ts, it never hurts to have a refresher…
Let’s start with one form of fraud everyone’s heard of: Identity Theft. Here are things you can do to prevent this from happening:
- Check your credit report annually. Make sure there aren’t any noticeable unexpected reports.
- If you use checks, do not have your social security number or driver’s license number pre-printed on the check.
- Never willfully give out your personal or financial information over the phone or internet unless you are initiating a transaction or conversation. (Our online communication through airbanking online is a great way to pass sensitive information securely)
- Destroy all receipts that you no longer need.
- Check your mail daily. Credit card offers and cash advance checks should always be destroyed. Don’t just toss these away, shred or tear them up!
Keep up with these and you will heavily reduce the chance of identity theft. And, stay up-to-date with Scam Alerts. The Federal Government constantly works with the public to educate and keep everyone aware of scams. Check out the FBI’s website and the FTC’s (Federal Trade Commission) website to learn more.
Here’s a list of some of the scams that you might run in to:
Phishing – generally fraudulent websites and spoofed e-mails that have duplicated a trusted brand image. Using this technique, fraudsters can impersonate a trusted website and request for sensitive information from you. Here are some quick tips to minimize the chance of being a victim of a phishing scam:
- If you’re note sure of an e-mail, do NOT follow any links provided.
- Do not complete e-mail forms that request sensitive information.
- Don’t be fooled by e-mails that have urgent or immediate response required. When in doubt, refer to number 1 and number 2.
- Regularly review your account information to ensure all activity was authorized by you. (This is easy to do with airbanking online)
- Keep your browser and computer up-to-date with security patches; install a firewall and anti-spyware.
Skimming – when credit card, debit card, or ATM card information is captured and then used fraudulently. Typically skimming occurs by swiping your card into a legitimate machine that has been modified by fraudsters to capture the information held on the magnetic strip. Here are 3 helpful tips to minimize skimming:
- Make sure no one is peering over your shoulder while inputting your PIN. Use your body or hand and block them out!
- If an ATM seems to have been tampered with or is in poor condition, look for another ATM close by.
- When at stores or restaurants, try to keep the individual who took your card in sight so you can see how the person is using your card.
Smishing – this is very similar to phishing, but instead of someone contacting you online, the culprit attempts to contact you over your cellular device. There are 4 things you can do to increase your chance of not being a victim of smishing.
- Contact and report to your cell phone/wireless provider when you receive messages that are unsolicited.
- Avoid displaying your mobile phone number in public areas.
- Add your mobile phone number to the National “Do Not Call” registry.
These tips can help you protect your identity and personal information. But, should the worst happen and your identity is stolen or you feel that your personal information or financial information has been compromised, contact us at 1-877-924-7360 to report the situation. We’re always willing to help.