This time of the year, we tend to see more fraud attempts and suspicious activity online and at shopping venues. Use this checklist to keep your finances free from fraudulent activity during the holiday season.
#1 Track your transactions
Regularly monitor your transaction history in your checking account. Also, keep an eye on your FICO credit report and score on the three major credit reporting bureaus--Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Note any suspicious or erroneous activity and contact the bureaus to put a hold on your personal credit until the issue is resolved.
#2 Turn on your bank account alerts
In your bank account settings, navigate to your account settings to activate account alerts. Typically, you can enable alerts for debit card transactions, payments, ATM withdrawals and deposits, and other types of activity. Remember to set alerts for your credit card accounts as well.
#3 Keep your account information to yourself
Don't share your bank account passwords with anyone. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) codes for extra security. Financial institutions and creditors will never ask for your sign-in credentials over the phone.
#4 Protect your passwords
Regularly update your passwords and make sure they're strong and comply with your bank's password rules. Use a combination of letters, cases, numbers, and special characters. Do not use the same password across different accounts. Try using a password manager to store your passwords if you tend to forget them.
Using these tips will help protect your identity and prevent you from becoming a victim of fraud during the holiday season and potentially keep you from losing hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
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