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With the holiday season upon us, this is the perfect time to be extra cautious of your accounts! Here are some tips on how to prevent identity theft, check fraud and credit card fraud.

  1. Use Credit Monitoring Services
  2. Use Uncommon Passwords
  3. Secure Personal Information – Locked File Cabinet, locked desk, etc.fraud
  4. Don’t give our personal information – unless you have initiated the contact
  5. Guard the mail – deposit outgoing mail at post office collection boxes or local post office
  6. If you go on vacation, put mail delivery on hold
  7. Guard the trash – tear, cut or shred all personal info prior to throwing it away
  8. Carry Limited Credit Cards
  9. Avoid Carrying non-essential information – such as passports, birth certificates or SSN
  10. Be aware of billing cycles for credit cards and other financial bills, and follow-up with creditors if bills do not get to you on time.
  11. At the same time, individuals must pay attention to their statements. They should balance their checking, credit card, savings and other loan accounts on a regular basis, and be sure they are familiar with all transactions on any billing statement.
  12. Avoid clicking on links from unverified sources
  13. Don’t save payment info
  14. Don’t shop over public wifi
  15. Use strong passwords and different passwords for every site
  16. Avoid providing too much information on social media sites
  17. Only Shop on trusted sites
  18. Only visit trusted sites: Be sure that the sites you visit are indeed the correct sites by looking at the URL
  19. Keep your computer and firewall updated
  20. Don’t open Spam
  21. Set up Banking Alerts – Set up alerts that let you know when your account balance has dropped below a certain limit
  22. Review Privacy Policies
  23. Wipe Old Computer Clean before getting rid of it
  24. Store checks, deposit slips, monthly and quarterly statements, and canceled checks in a secure and locked location.
  25. Never leave your checkbook in your vehicle (whether locked or not).
  26. Reconcile your checking statement within 30 days of receiving it to detect any irregularities.Checking Account
  27. Never give your checking account or any other account number to someone you don’t know, especially over the telephone. Be particularly aware of unsolicited phone calls.
  28. Unless needed for tax purposes, destroy all old canceled checks, account statements, deposit tickets and ATM receipts.
  29. Make sure your financial institution endorses your checks and incorporates security features that help combat counterfeiting and alteration.
  30. Examine new check packages carefully for evidence of tampering.
  31. Limit the amount of personal information on your check. DO NOT include your SSN, driver’s license or telephone numbers on your check.
  32. Deposit outgoing mail into a locked mailbox.
  33. Never endorse a check until you are ready to cash or deposit it.
  34. Don’t write your credit card number on your check.
  35. Use dark ink on your checks that can’t be easily erased or covered over.
  36. Order checks from a legitimate, established company, most notably, your financial institution. You may pay a little more in the short-run, but you will be grateful for the security measures provided in the long-run.
  37. Avoid leaving large blank spaces in the check boxes or amount line of the check. Start written dollar amounts as far to the left as possible and put a slash between the cents and the 100. Also, draw a line between the cents value and the right side of the dollar line.
  38. Check the number sequence for each pad of checks and make sure each number matches the check register or duplicate slip as it is used.
  39. Always verify your check numbers after each shopping trip, paying close attention to the back of the pad.
  40. Sign credit cards as soon as they arrive. Some people believe they should put “ask for photo identification” on the back; this is not recommended by the FTC and other experts in this area.
  41. Keep a record of your account numbers, their expiration dates, and the phone number and address of each company in a secure place.
  42. wcfcu credit cardKeep an eye on your card during the transaction, and get it back as quickly as possible.
  43. Save receipts to compare with your billing statement. If you don’t receive a billing statement, notify your issuer immediately.
  44. Open credit card  bills promptly and review them thoroughly.
  45. Report any questionable charges promptly and in writing to your card issuer.
  46. Notify card companies in advance of a change of address.
  47. Do not lend your cards to anyone or leave them (or receipts) lying around.
  48. Never write your account number on a postcard or the outside of an envelope.
  49. Never provide your credit card number over the phone to an unsolicited caller.
  50. Shred anything with your account number on it prior to throwing it away.
  51. Request and review a copy of your credit report at least annually.
  52. Limit the number of credit cards you carry on a regular basis. Only carry cards you will use!