It’s an absolute necessity to avoid financial fraud. If you’ve ever been the victim of bank account or credit card fraud, then you know how costly, stressful and time-consuming the process can be. Credit card and bank account fraud occurs when someone gains access to your credit card, debit card, or bank account numbers and uses that information to make unauthorized purchases.
Although most banks and credit card companies offer zero-liability protection against victims of this type of fraud, the stress and emotional damage can take a toll. The CGS Team is sharing 5 ways that you can proactively avoid credit card and bank account fraud. Also, check out the article Financial Security: Keeping Your Info Safe for some great tips on protecting your information.
#1: Don’t Give Out Information over the Phone
Unless you’ve called the company yourself, do not give out personal information over the phone. There may be instances where you call a company and they require information to “access your account”. This is a standard practice, just make sure you are calling the right company. If someone calls you claiming something is wrong with your account, ask for a number to call them back on. Before calling back, do some research to make sure the company is reputable.
#2: Keep Your Cards at Home
There’s no reason to keep all of your debit and credit cards with you at all times (especially if you’re trying not to spend). Consider keeping one card with you at all times and leaving the rest at home. If all of your cards are in your wallet and it gets stolen, you could be dealing with a lot of calls to report your cards as stolen. You may also be without your cards until they are replaced.
#3: Review Your Accounts Daily
Make it a habit to consistently review your bank and credit card accounts. Doing so can help you pinpoint a problem as soon as possible. Most banks and credit card companies are happy to assist you through the fraud process, as long as the fraud is reported in a timely manner.
#4: Open Mail Timely and Shred Your Documents
If you receive credit card bills and account statements through the mail, you may notice that the account number is often shown in full. Check your mail timely and always keep an eye out for mail that may be missing. After your bills are paid, or you no longer need the document, shred or rip them up before throwing them out.
#5: Go Electronic
Set your financial accounts to send you electronic bills and statements. This will eliminate the threat of someone getting your information from the mail. You can also set up electronic payments to avoid mailing your account information to bill companies. Take the advice of Discover when making payments online, “just make sure the Web site is a secure, encrypted environment. To make sure that a Web site is secure, look for a closed lock symbol in the bottom right of the screen, which means the site should be encrypted. Web addresses that begin with “https” also indicate secure sites, and if you click on the lock symbol, it should display the same “https” address.”
There are little things you can do to secure your information and make sure you don’t have to deal with the hassle of fraud. Make your life a little easier by implementing a few of the tips above. Have you been the victim of financial fraud at any point in your life? How was the process of getting it remediated? Any tips you can share for protecting secure information? Post a comment below to share your thoughts!