How to Protect Yourself Against Fraud
As the internet and other technologies continue to take root in our lives, these changes bring with them new risks as well — among them, new forms of fraud. Gone are the days when protecting yourself from fraud was as simple as keeping your wallet in your pocket and any financial paperwork secure at home. Nowadays, thieves come in many forms and it can be difficult to tell when you’re being scammed. Here are some simple tips to help you stay safe from fraud:
1. Educate yourself on the latest scams and frauds
If you’re like most people, chances are you’ve received a few fishy email or phone calls over the past few years, or even within the past few days. Some of these have even made headlines or have otherwise become famous, such as the now-infamous Nigerian Prince scam. Not only are these kinds of scams getting more convincing, but scammers themselves are getting more knowledgeable about how to steal your money, identity, or personal information. Try visiting The Better Business Bureau or Scambusters.org to get up to date on the latest scams, fraudulent companies, and more.
2. Keep your information confidential (at all costs)
It can be tempting to give out personal information like a credit card number or PIN over the phone. But be aware of scammers and even automated scambots that can steal your records quickly and share them with outside companies and sites. A good rule of thumb is to always take a conservative approach, and to never give this information over the phone except to people you know personally or to institutions that can verify their identity, like your bank. The same goes for sending information via email. For tips on how to send encrypted emails with sensitive information, check out this easy guide.
3. Up your password/PIN game
When’s the last time you changed your account passwords or PIN? It could be time to revamp your personal security systems by giving your credit cards new PIN numbers or passwords. Make a habit of doing this regularly by putting a reminder on your calendar to change your passwords every month or two. You can never be too safe when it comes to fraud, and at CNB we are here to keep you safe. Avoid common passwords like “password” and go for more complex pneumonic passwords instead. For example, someone who wanted to create a password based on the sentence “My parents met at a disco in 1979” might come up with “Mpmaadi1979.”
4. Create an open dialogue with your family about fraud
In today’s world of fast-paced technology, anyone can become a target of fraud. Keep your family safe by communicating safe practices such as not answering the phone for unknown numbers, never giving out personal information, and discussing what to do in the event that a fraud occurs.
At Citizens National Bank, we want to give you peace of mind. We are always happy to answer your questions at our Call Center: 1 (865) 429-7521.