Podcast: 5 Tips to Reduce Fraud

No one is immune from the threat of being a fraud victim. The key to reducing your risk of being victimized by criminals is being aware of the tactics they use to compromise your identity and perpetrate financial crimes. People generally steal because they can. Here are five ways to reduce your chances of becoming a fraud victim.

1. Protect your personal information

  • Avoid carrying your social security card or other ID numbers in your wallet or purse. Instead, store private information in a home safe or safety deposit box.
  • If you still receive statements by mail, consider e-statements. Avoid discarding personal information in your household trash. Shred them instead.
  • If you mail bills, drop them off in a U.S. Postal mail drop instead of your home mailbox to reduce the chance of your mail being stolen.

2. Remember that if an opportunity appears too good to be true, it probably is

  • Be skeptical. Someone who shares an “opportunity” to earn abnormally large returns should be considered suspect.
  • Don’t invest in anything you know nothing about. Do your homework and research the company. Discuss any considerations with a trusted advisor.

3. Know when to expect statements and review them in a timely manner

  • Determine when statements should be sent and received. If you don’t get one when you’re supposed to, contact the sender.
  • Open and review statements in a timely manner.
  • Periodically pull your credit bureau report.

4. Guard yourself against cyber crimes

  • Without protection and usage rules in place, your home or work computer can provide a criminal access to the information you submit and store.
  • Make sure your Internet security software is active and up to date.
  • Scan e-mails visually to check for typos or other signs of a phishing attempt. Hover over the link before clicking to see where the link is being directed. Don’t click if the URL seems inconsistent with the message sender and delete the e-mail.

5. Safeguard your personal accounts

  • Don’t permit anyone without a legitimate business purpose to use your checking account.
  • If you have experienced fraudulent transactions on your account, close it and establish a new one.
  • Recognize you are responsible for transactions deposited and withdrawn from your account.

Learn more about each of these points in detail, as well as the three most common types of schemes, by listening to the podcast below.

Can’t see the podcast player? Click here.

You can reach Kim Jenny at 615-620-1226 or by e-mail at kim.jenny@pnfp.com.

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