Fraud Tips

Safeguard Your Mobile & Online Transactions

Online transactions are easy and convenient. But with fraud on the rise, protecting your data remains paramount. And as the fraudsters continue to find new ways to steal our data, the key is to stay vigilant. Here are some timely tips:

  • Avoid using public spaces to shop, bank, or access private information. Data can be compromised when using a public or shared computer —or even your own device on public Wi-Fi. Instead, shop or bank from home because your private network should have higher security levels. If you need to use public Wi-Fi, update your device settings immediately after to ensure you will not automatically join other networks in the future. Establishing a VPN (virtual private network) is another option if you frequently need to shop or bank from home.
  • Install antivirus software and keep your device updated. These can catch potential problems before they have a chance to capture your data. Most providers will send updates automatically for your computer and laptop. However, to keep your phone protected, ensure you’ve made the latest software updates.
  • Use strong, more complex passwords. Use a combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. Change passwords every 90 days and avoid the obvious. Don’t use easily tracked information, such as birthdates, anniversaries, or children’s names.
  • Lock your phone or laptop. Having this first line of defense in case your device is lost or stolen is a must-have. Use a password to lock your home screen. Also, consider using a “find your phone” tool for enhanced security. These tools can also give you the option to disable your device.
  • Use secure websites. Always look for https in a company’s URL. Before sharing payment or personal information, check that the URL begins with https —not http. Also, watch for phony websites. These sites mimic legitimate entities but pose under a similar (but still false) name.End the transaction and check with the Better Business Bureau if you’re unsure.
  • Choose credit, not debit. With a credit card, you have enhanced purchase protection—and if unauthorized charges occur, you’re responsible for up to $50. But with a debit card, there’s a chance you could lose all the money in your account if you don’t report unauthorized charges in time. To help prevent fraud, track transactions and check your statement history frequently.
  • Track transactions. Online Banking, Mobile Banking, and alerts are excellent tools to help you monitor your money. If unsure about a transaction or if something seems out of place, contact us immediately.

When transacting business online, protect your data from fraudsters. Keep your accounts safe and protect your transactions by adding an added layer of security and staying vigilant.

Source: NerdWallet, Inc.

More About Debit Card Fraud

Debit card fraud can be more problematic than other types of fraud —simply because the crooks can withdraw money directly from your checking account. Scammers can also use a variety of methods to steal your data, including:

  • Hacking: Hackers can steal your data by using keylogging software. All the data you enter, including your name, debit card account number, and PIN, can be stolen.
  • Phishing: Scammers solicit you via text or email messages for account information. The messages appear to be legitimate, but instead, when you click on an embedded link and share personal data, it’s lost to the scammers.
  • Skimming: Data is at risk if your card runs through a skimmer device. These are found at ATMs, gas pumps, and retailer sites. When data is compromised via a skimmer, thieves can use it to produce counterfeit cards.
  • Spying: Cameras can be placed near ATMs to capture your data, or someone may watch for your card or PIN information.

Debit Card Safety Tips

  • Shop and bank only on secure websites. Use private (not public) Wi-Fi, and always ensure the website has https in its URL.
  • Review your statements and transaction history frequently. Enroll in alerts to stay in touch with your money and stop fraud attempts early.
  • Don’t ignore data breach notifications. If you receive a message, change your PIN and ask your provider to change your debit card number. You can also ask one of the major credit card bureaus to place a fraud alert on your file.
  • Be prudent and inspect card readers and ATMs. Don’t use card slots that feel clunky, look dirty, or look to be tampered with —including scratches, glue, or debris near the card reader.
  • Shield your card from prying eyes. When using a debit card or entering your PIN, block the view with your hand.
Fraud can occur to anyone, anywhere. If your card has been compromised, contact us immediately. When unauthorized charges occur, we also recommend that you file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission

Source:Roberta Pescow, NerdWallet© Copyright 2016 NerdWallet, Inc.

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