If you have a checking account, being proactive with your finances is one of the best ways to stay protected from fraud happening to you. Balancing your check book, reviewing your statements, and accessing your account information online to check your financial status regularly are all great ways to spot any weird activity happening with our checking account. As soon as you discover something that does not match up, contact your bank immediately to rectify the situation.
Other proactive ways that you can prevent fraud and identity theft from happening are:
- Being careful of who you speak to. If you are ever contacted by someone claiming to be from the bank you are banking with, be careful of giving out your personal information – always double check by asking the representative’s full name and an identification number or case number, so that you can call the bank yourself to ask if that person who called you is a legitimate person from the bank. Lots of people are scammed into giving away their personal financial information this way, and with the information that they collect from you, they are able to produce fake checks in your name. By double checking not only are you preventing fraud from happening to you, but you are also letting the bank aware of the the fraudulent activity that is happening to others as well.
- Never let your debit card be gone for too long. If you use your debit card often, be careful when you dine out. Making sure that you receive your debit card back immediately after you pay for your dinner will lower the chances of your debit card being skimmed for information. However, some times this does not always work since technology makes it a lot easier for scammers to get your information. In this case, try to use credit cards as an alternative to debit cards since credit card companies will waive the amount if you inquire about the fraudulent activity – whereas, the debit card is linked directly to your bank account.
- Never do over the phone orders in public places. If you have to place an order over the phone, make sure that you are in a private area where others around you cannot overhear your personal account information. Sometimes if your luck is running low – there may be a scam artist right next to you jotting down your personal information. They can then use that information to buy and/or open accounts under your name without you ever knowing about it.
By being skeptical when others inquire you about your financial information and proactively managing your checking account, you can reduce fraud from happening to you. You can also use fraud preventive services as well to keep track of any financial activities that are happening in your name, such as GoIdentityProtect.com.
You can never be too careful of your personal information, because in a world where there are 6.7 billion people (according to CIA.gov, July 2008 estimate) there will be people out there who will scam you for their benefit.