In the first 6 months of 2019 alone, £616m was stolen from banks in the UK due to fraud. In the Philippines, there were over half a billion pesos lost due to credit card fraud. Each year, banks, ATM systems, and credit card scanners come up with new ways to protect you against identity theft and fraud. These upgrades don’t seem to last, however. As quickly as the safety upgrades are made, it seems criminals are coming up with new ways to get around them. You can never be too safe and that’s why you need to learn about preventing fraud yourself.
The more knowledge you have about it, the better chances you have at avoiding it altogether. Don’t be a victim to identity theft, fraud, or any other type of financial scam. Continue reading below for six of the best tips to know about preventing fraud in your life.
1. Take Advantage of All Online Security Features
If you bank online, then you need to set up an account with as many security features as possible. Your banking app has these features set in place for you to ensure your information stays secure. If you’re not taking advantage of all the security features, then you could be placing yourself in a better position to get hacked.
Most banks will offer a multi-step authentication process when logging in accounts online or on the app. Make use of these. For example, to access your account, it might require you to give your fingerprint, log in using your credentials, send a security code to your phone, and make you answer security questions.
Use as many of these features as you can.
2. Check Your Bank Statements Frequently
Some criminals will gain access to your bank account and spend a large amount of money all at one time. Others will use your information to make purchases overseas. When either of these situations happen, it signals a red flag to your bank.
Other fraud criminals, however, are a bit smarter with their crimes. They’ll start out by only taking small amounts out here and there. This makes it less recognisable by you and your bank.
To catch them in the act, you’ll need to keep an eye on your bank statements on a regular basis. Log into your accounts and go through each withdrawal.
3. Avoid Accepting a Check and Wiring Money
One of the most common ways criminals scam innocent people is by sending them a check and asking them to wire money back in exchange. This mostly happens when someone makes a private purchase. A person will contact you saying they want to purchase something you have for sale.
They’ll explain to you that they only have a check for a certain amount, which is greater than the price of the item. They’ll send you the check and ask you to then wire them the difference. After you wire them the difference, you’ll soon learn that their check was bad.
If anyone approaches you with this scenario, decline. Avoid accepting checks with the intent to then wire money. Once you wire your money, it’s gone, and usually can’t be traced.
4. Never Use a Public Computer or Connection
When you do need to log into your bank account online, never use a public computer or a public connection. You only want to use your private phone network or a secure network at your house or someone’s house who you trust.
When you log into your bank accounts using a computer that isn’t yours or from a public internet connection, you take the risk of a scammer hacking your information.
5. Report a Card Lost or Stolen Immediately
Haven’t seen your bank card in a few days? Don’t wait to report your card lost or stolen. Even if you believe it fell in that hard-to-reach place in your car, don’t take the chance of not reporting it.
Replacing your credit and debit cards with your bank is quite simple. They’ll even give you a temporary card to use while waiting for your new one to come in the mail. Even if you have to go a few hours or days without access to your account, it’s better than allowing an unauthorised user to have access to it.
6. Contact Your Bank About Added Safety Features
Following these tips is a great way to reduce your risk of bank fraud. There is more you can do, though. If you feel you need an extra layer of protection on your account, then contact your bank directly.
Ask about what security features they offer. They might be able to put a high alert on your account. This sometimes means that you’ll have to go inside the bank to make any type of transaction and the slightest detail in your account statement could warrant a phone call to you from your bank.
Some of these features might seem like they’d become pestering, but it’s the best way to ensure no fraud is allowed on your account.
Preventing Fraud Is Simple When You Know These Tips!
Finding out your bank account has fraudulent transactions is a big hit to the gut. If not caught right away, it can sometimes take years for people to gain their identity back or get their life back together after a scam. Don’t be one of these people.
Preventing fraud is easy when you follow the tips listed in this post.
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