Nobody enjoys being a victim of fraud. Not only is it costly, fraud can strip you from your ability to trust another person who is attempting to help you out financially.
Although March is fraud prevention month, individuals should take every opportunity to avoid placing oneself in situations to be an easy target for fraud.
Below are 20 tips that will aid in protecting yourself from against debit / bank card, credit card, telemarketing, identity and investment fraud.
Debit / Bank Card Fraud
1. Avoid using automatic bank machines that are not associated with a bank. These machines are known to have cloning devices which will obtain a copy of your card and the information that is stored on it.
2. Do not write down your Personal Identification Number (PIN). Be sure to select a number that is easy to remember but it should not be easy to figure out such as a birthday or a portion of a phone number.
3. When making a payment, be sure that the card does not leave your sight. If you are told by an individual that he or she has to go to another terminal to process payment, go with them to ensure that card does not get tampered with or switched for another card.
4. Monitor your balance. Be sure that your credits and debits are correct. Any errors should be reported immediately to your bank. Unsuspected debits are signs that someone has indeed gain access to your bank account.
Credit Card Fraud
1. Destroy past statements. If you still receive your statements via the mail, be sure to destroy them once they are no longer needed. Use a pair of scissors to shred portions of the document, especially your account number. Consider disposing the number in another container and or manner.
2. Track your automatic charges. If you have a monthly expense placed on your card, check if the amount charge remains the same. Any additional charges should be questioned and reported.
3. Verify your bill before sign it. Be sure that you are paying for the items that you actually bought and free from other charges.
4. Shop online in a security environment. If you are an online shopper, always double check if the site has security features that prevents online fraud of any kind.
1. Avoid talking to individuals bearing gifts. Do not spend time with the individual that has the responsibility to extract as much information from you as possible. (This tip can apply to text messages that you receive on your smartphone.)
2. Track reoccurring calls. In the event that you are receiving calls from a phone number that you do not recognize, write it down and the time of the calls. If you see a pattern, report it to the authorities.
3. Protect your phone number. Always be vigilant in terms of who give your phone number to especially when you are completing an application. Your contact information is being sold and placed in a database where fraudsters can obtain it for their own use.
4. Avoid entering contests or lotteries by phone. No matter the size of the cash prize or gift, do not participate in contests or lotteries by simply using providing your phone number. Fraudsters tend to use the promise of prizes and gifts to just collect phone numbers for a bigger initiative.
1. Limit the amount of personal identity documents or cards that you carry. You may not need to have several credit cards on you at all times.
2. Check your mail. Be sure that all delivered mail to your home address has your name on it. Strangers should not be using your address as a post box office.
3. Do not wait to update your contact information when moving to another address. When you change your address, make sure you notify the post office and all relevant financial institutions.
4. Destroy all old documents with personal information. Make sure you shred personal and financial documents before putting them in the garbage.
1. Validate promised returns. If you are hooked by an opportunity that has a great return on investment attached to it, double check the information. Either conduct some research on the internet or talk to a financial advisor.
2. Do not invest under pressure. If you are pressed to make investment, be cautious and take your time and think over where and why you are putting your money away to grow.
3. Never invest over the phone with someone new. Be sure to meet with the new advisor to know more about him or her and their insights into investing.
4. Be aware of current investment scams before it is too late. Scams are usually executed for a fixed amount of time. The sooner you are aware of the fraud strategy, the better position you will be in to protect yourself.