Keeping your money in “safe” investments is not a guarantee against being a victim of financial fraud. Take these 3 steps to minimize the risk that you’ll be a target in a scheme.
Create strong passwords
Don’t base your financial passwords on family birthdays, names, addresses, or other well-known personal information. It’s easy for hackers to find this personal information and break into your account. Instead, create a strong password by using a random assortment of numbers, letters, and symbols that only you know.
Having strong passwords is not enough to prevent financial fraud. You must protect your passwords, too. Don’t tell others your passwords in public, and while using the ATM machine, make sure you stand close by and cover your PIN number as you type it in. Also, make sure you have complicated security questions so no one else could enter your accounts and change passwords.
Check account statements and credit ratings regularly
It’s your responsibility to know what’s going on with your money. Check your account statement regularly, and compare it to previous months. Make sure the balance makes sense. If the balance doesn’t seem right, figure out what caused the difference. If you can’t find the reason, call your bank.
Identity theft is also a big risk when it comes to credit ratings. Therefore, check your credit ratings at least once a year to make sure you (or other authorized users) are the only one with access to your card. (For more information how to get your credit report, click here.)
Get bank alerts
Banks provide an assortment of alert services such as sending an email or SMS every time certain criteria are met. For example, many people like being notified every time there is a large withdrawal from their bank account. Take advantage of these alert services to help you keep aware of what is happening with your money.
Following these three core financial tactics helps maintain safe access to your money and increases awareness to any possible financial fraud in your account. For more information about how to prevent financial fraud, especially on the internet, read this blog piece.
Douglas Goldstein, co-author of Rich As A King: How the Wisdom of Chess Can Make You A Grandmaster of Investing, is an avid chess player, international investment advisor, and Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).