How Can I Protect Myself From Financial Fraud
Anyone may become a victim of financial fraud at anytime and anywhere. You may have received ambiguous phone calls, fraudulent emails, encountered fake online ads or questionable posts on social networking sites. Financial fraud is a major problem today. So, all the necessary steps should be taken so that you can avoid becoming a victim. There are a few steps that you can follow in order to protect yourself from financial fraud. You can also find several resources to recover from such fraud.
Add Fraud Alert To Your Credit Report
It is recommended that you establish credit alerts by contacting all major credit reporting agencies. This will insure that if anyone tried to apply for credit in your name, the credit agency will alert you.
Freeze Your Credit
If you are really worried about your credit then consider freezing your credit. By freezing it you can rest assured that the companies who already have your information can only access your credit report. By doing so you can rest assured that no hacker will be able to apply for credit or a loan in your name. They will not be able to get a credit report and the application will never proceed. Remember that freezing your credit with each of the credit reporting agency will cost you separate fee. Unfreezing the report late on may cost you a fee as well.
Check Your Credit Report
Every year you are entitled to one free credit report from each of the credit agencies. Try to refrain from getting more than one report once in a year as it could have an impact on your current credit score. Once you have got the report, go through it carefully for any sort of suspicious activity.
Keep A Check On Your Loan And Credit Card Statement
You should make it a regular habit to review all your credit card, loan and bank statement monthly. Review them carefully and make sure you identify all of the transactions. Also check for pre-notes or pre-authorizations on your credit card statement. If you notice anything suspicious then contact your bank or the credit card issuer immediately.
Change Your Passwords And Pins Often
Keep changing the PIN of your debit and credit card and the password for internet banking frequently. Remembering all those passwords and PIN can be difficult, but expert recommends that you change them at least twice a year, even though your accounts have not been settled. Try to frame a unique password that others cannot guess. Make sure to avoid obvious choices and use a combination of letters, numbers and symbols to create a strong password.
Keep A Track Of Your Finances In A Written Secure Document
You will never know what you are missing if you do not know what you have. Therefore, keep a written list of all your accounts. You cannot always depend on your memories and thus it is a good idea to keep a written document so that you remember what you need to check. Today, there are various tools and software that will allow you to keep a track of all your information.
Shred The Documents That Are Not Required
Any document that contains sensitive data and you do not need them any longer should always be shredded before you throw it in the recycling bin. Be it receipts, bank statements, old tax returns or even junk mails, containing your address never throw them away without shredding.
Be Cautious For Unusual Transactions
Be careful whenever you find any unexpected or unusual transactions in your credit card or bank account statement. You should also be wary of offers that’s seems too good to be true. Besides, never agree to conduct financial transactions on behalf of strangers.
It is important that if you have caught it, you should report about it. Reporting about financial fraud will help others in many ways. It will also allow the authorities to keep tabs on such threats and warn others. You can notify other organizations so that such crimes can be stopped from happening further.