You have a checking account. You'd think that by keeping your checkbook secured at all times, you'd be safe from bank fraud. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. You might not realize this, but some of your daily activities may be putting you and your bank account at risk. Take a look at four simple steps you can take to protect your money.
Don't Give Out Your Banking Information
Identity thieves use your personal information to gain control of your bank account. For that reason alone, you should never hand out your information to people or businesses you don't know. For instance, if you make an online purchase and then you receive an email from the company requesting your banking information, don't give it to them. Instead, call the company that you made the purchase from and ask them if they requested the information.
Go Over Your Statement Carefully
Your bank statement contains information on every transaction you've made during the previous month. Don't just set it aside. Take the time to go over every transaction. Make sure you recognize each one. If there are transactions that don't look familiar, contact the bank and ask for clarification.
Don't Wait When Problems Arise
In addition to going over your bank statement each month, you should also be looking at your account activity throughout the month. If you're not signed up for online banking through your financial institution, take the time to do that. Make it a point to check your account at least once a week. This will allow you to catch fraudulent activities quickly.
Use ATMs Inside Buildings
You may use ATMs located outside the bank, or you may pay for your gas right at the pump. Those are both activities that can lead to bank fraud. Did you know that identity thieves can attach skimming devices to ATM machines? Those skimming devices will capture your bank account information and your PIN.
The safest place to use the ATM is inside the store at the check stand, or inside the bank lobby. To further protect yourself, take a moment to test the ATM machine. Look for loose faceplates, or stickers. The stickers can be used to hide wires. Wiggle on the ATM faceplate. If it comes loose, don't use it.
Bank fraud and identity theft can destroy you. The tips provided above will help you protect your bank account information for would-be thieves.
For more information, contact Visterra Credit Union or a similar location.