5 Ways to Avoid Financial Fraud

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!

-The CGS Team

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6 thoughts on “5 Ways to Avoid Financial Fraud”

  1. I have been the victim of bank fraud, multiple times. One time I had $600 automatically transferred out of my savings. Another time, my debit card was used in Florida. Wells Fargo was very helpful and I was able to get my money returned. It’s definitely stressful!

  2. I fortunately have never been the victim of bank fraud, but I have received emails or phone calls that were not from reputable companies. It turns out they were individuals running scams. Unfortunately these scams won’t stop so we must always be aware and make smart decisions.

  3. Those are great tips. There’s also the IRS scams where an “agent” calls people and tells them that they owe x amount of dollars to the IRS. I’ve read about so many people being victimized this way. My mom received a call from someone from that said that they were from the IRS, and the person calling was threatening and hostile telling her she owed a few hundred dollars. She knew that it was a scam. However, I can see how people get scared thinking it’s the government and wanting to resolve the issue right away.

    It’s worth knowing and remembering that the IRS does not call people; it always sends letters.

  4. I see your point for #2, but I do something different. I have multiple credit cards. I leave one at home in case someone steals my wallet or I lose it. I don’t use my debit card for really anything. I figure if someone is going to steal money from me, I’d rather they do it where it’s not linked to my bank account.

    But, I always keep a credit card on me. On days when I carry nothing else on me – not even my cell phone, I always keep my driver’s license and a credit card in case of emergencies. I know it’s highly unlikely, but I figure if something terrible and hideous happens, the main things I may need are a way to identify myself and a way to quickly buy/pay for something to get out of a jam. Those 2 items help me feel more secure.

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