From phishing scams to bank scams, it’s nothing short of a scam, and you shouldn’t neglect the boundaries to protect yourself, your information and your bank account.
A young family member recently mentioned that he got a new debit card for his current account because someone logged into his account. He said he wasn’t sure how it happened, but someone accessed his current account information and made a number of charges. It was the second thing that happened to him in less than a year. And he’s not alone. There are more scammers trying to take advantage of your bank account than ever before. Consider working with your financial advisor to develop a financial plan that includes security measures.
How to protect your bank card from fraud.
Check your car.
One of the most common ways fraudsters try to access your bank account is through automated ATM machines. This operation usually installs a “skimmer” on the card reader to capture data on the card when the card is inserted into the machine. Fraudsters then use this data to create bogus cards. Dummy cards can also be used to access your account.
Skimmers can be very difficult to detect. Most are specifically designed to blend in with ATMs, so you often have to actively search for ATMs to notice that something is wrong. And even if your card passes the skimmer, you can still access your funds, so there are a few preliminary warning signs that your account will be compromised.
Protect your device.
It’s important to keep your software, operating system, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs and browsers up to date on your desktop computer, laptop or mobile device.
Keep your data safe with a private Internet connection, which is more important than ever because many people work remotely.
Some scammers, posing as a bank or customer service, ask you to download an app to mirror your phone so you can steal your account information. You can only download secure apps, don’t download apps that are prompted by phone, text message or email, and use multi-factor authentication if possible.
Use the Internet and mobile banking safely.
Online banking is a convenient way to manage your money on the go. The downside is that your account could be vulnerable to fraud if other users find out your login information. If that happens, they can withdraw money from your account and access your personal information.
However, one of the benefits of using online banking is that you can avoid fraud because you can check your statements regularly. This allows you to immediately detect suspicious transactions.
In this case, contact your bank immediately. This allows you to get reimbursed for transactions that you did not make and that will never happen again.
Check your account regularly.
Keeping track of your account will help you know when something is wrong. You should also regularly check for accounts that you may not use often. Adjust your current account balance each month to make sure that any purchases that are charged to your account are actual purchases. If there is anything out of the ordinary, contact your bank immediately.
Use a unique password for each account.
You probably know that having a strong password is very important. However, when you are trying to protect your bank account from hackers, no matter how strong your password is, one password cannot be removed.
If you use the same password for multiple accounts, all accounts are potentially at risk. If a hacker finds one password, it will be easier for him or her to gain access to another user account. This could include bank accounts with important financial or payment information.
Cover the BULAWKE.
Capturing card data is also important. But in order to most effectively steal your money, fraudsters also need your password.
For this reason, most skimmers also come with a camera designed to capture PIN entry on the ATM keypad. Again, because many cameras are no bigger than a pinhead, these cameras can be difficult to detect.
With the growing use of personal payment apps like Zelle and Venmo, it’s important to make sure you’re sending money to the right person before transferring funds.
If you’re using a mobile payment app to send money to friends or family, double check that you have the right person before you click “Send.” To make sure the funds are delivered to the designated person, consider sending a small amount, such as $1, before sending a payment request or sending the full amount.
A common scam is for thieves to send you payment for items you sell and then pay you for the items you sell before you send the items you purchased or cancel the payment, holding you responsible for the items you sold. It is important that these payment services only be used with services that you know and trust.
Don’t give your password to anyone.
This advice may seem obvious to people who have had current accounts for years, but it’s not always so obvious to new current account holders. The password should not be shared with anyone, including bank tellers. If you’ve ever been asked to give your password directly to another party over the phone, don’t do it! Most banks have automated systems that require you to enter or say your password. Then put you through to a teller or bank representative. Remind your family members and loved ones that they should never give out their passwords.
Consider a password manager.
If you want to keep track of multiple passwords, including those for your bank account, you can download a Password Manager. Password management tools allow you to save passwords without having to remember them, and in many cases you can also generate strong passwords.
For a much simpler option, you can physically write down your password. “It’s inconvenient, but it’s easier to protect a piece of paper than a file on your computer,” Grossman said. “It’s written there. If you use pen and paper to protect your bank account from fraud, make sure your password document is in a safe and locked place that no one else can access.
Don’t get close to your cards.
Not all card-related fraud happens at ATMs. Another common place where fraudsters steal card information is in a restaurant or store. This may involve the waiter taking the card from the table when paying, but turning the card into a swipe card during settlement. Also, you can view your information while the clerk is at the counter.
Be careful when accessing your account.
Free Wi-Fi is available on almost every corner, including coffee shops or local convenience stores. This allows you to perform tasks outside the office, but again, think about using these connections to check your bank account. It’s still a public place, and you don’t have to know what the security measures are. When you log in, people or hackers looking over your shoulder can access your account through a public Wi-Fi connection.
Update your password regularly.
Are you wondering how often you need to update your bank account password and other financial and personal account passwords? “Changing your password every year or every two years would be effective,” Grossman says.
Both Wiseman and Grossman advise that changing passwords is sometimes a good idea, but it’s more important to use a combination of passwords when you’re working to protect your bank account from hackers.