Financial fraud can deprive you of your good credit rating, can cost you cash, can drive you to bankruptcy, and can cause you a great deal of stress. Unfortunately, many people do not take the basic steps needed to protect themselves from fraud. Do you make these mistakes, too?:
1) Choosing bad PINs and passwords (and sharing them). PIN numbers are meant to protect you, but they won’t if you use them incorrectly. Never write your PIN numbers down and never carry them with your cards. Never share PIN numbers or choose easily-guessed numbers (such as your birthday or the last or first digits on your card. When using your PIN, cover the touch pad at the ATM or pay area to protect yourself.
2) Not checking your financial statements and credit scores regularly. If you’re not checking, you may not be noticing some major irregularities. Check your statements carefully and if you notice anything unusual, correct it with your bank, credit card company, or utility company at once. Also, read your credit report at least once a year (twice a year is better) and investigate and report any activity you do not recognize.
3) Not securing your computer. If you use online banking, use your computer for online purchases, or have any financial information on your computer, you need to make sure your computer is secure. Buy a good anti-malware security suite and keep it updated. Use a good firewall and avoid any unsecured sites.