Tips to protect your financial future
As a supporter of International Fraud Awareness Week, Members wants to help ensure that all our members are aware of the risks of fraud, so they can protect themselves and their financial futures.
Technology changes quickly. So do the tactics of fraudsters, scammers, and hackers. Make sure you’re prepared to protect yourself. Read on for some tips to avoid being scammed.
Know who you’re dealing with.
- Be cautious of doing business or giving financial information to a source you’re not completely certain about.
- If you receive a phone call, text, or email you aren’t anticipating, always use the contact information on a business’ website to ensure you’re dealing with the actual company, not a scammer.
Consider how you pay.
- Pay with a credit card online so you can dispute illegitimate purchases if you don’t receive an order or if the offer was misrepresented.
- If unauthorized charges are made to your card, Federal law limits your liability to $50. Many credit card issuers will remove them completely if you promptly report the issue to them.
Protect your personal information.
- Never provide information like your credit card or bank account number unless you’re actually paying for something and know who you’re paying.
- Unless you’re applying for credit, disclosing your social security number should not be necessary.
- Be mindful and use extra caution if someone claiming to be from a business you patronize asks for information that the business should already have.
Stay safe online.
- Never send sensitive information like credit card or bank account numbers by email. It’s not secure.
- Examine individual website security. When making a purchase online, at the point that your financial information is entered, the letters at the beginning of the address bar (the website URL) should change from “http” to “https” or “shttp.” Your browser may also indicate that information is being encrypted so it can’t be intercepted and read by an outside party.
Review your credit reports regularly.
- Request a free copy of your credit report, once a year. A new federal law allows all consumers to ask each of the three major credit bureaus for free copies of their reports once in every 12-month period.
- If you’re a victim of identity theft, you can request free copies of your reports from all three bureaus.
- Contact the credit bureaus at: Equifax, 800-685-111; Experian, 800-311-4769; TransUnion, 800-888-4213.
Stay up to date to stay safe.
Visit our website for additional security tips, and check back for regular updates. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of identity theft, report it right away at IdentityTheft.gov.
The information provided here is general in nature and may not apply to your specific situation.