How to Protect Yourself From Fraud and Identity Theft
Have you ever experienced identity theft? Or maybe you've had your banking account stolen or a debit or credit card? Have you had your house broken into or even your car? I want to share with you just a few tips today, on how to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft in case this happens to you.
1. Get identity theft protection
Recently, I got my car broken into and I am so thankful that I have identity theft protection. I was going to a concert and we couldn't take in some personal items, so I left some things in my trunk and they were taken by the thieves. I learned the lesson to take everything out of my car.
To protect yourself from identity theft, I highly suggest getting signed up for identity theft protection. You can do that through your bank, and different credit bureaus.
Working in the finance industry for 14 plus years, I saw a lot of havoc that was done to people's credit reports because of fraud and identity theft. I have family members that had their Social Security Number stolen and then they had their identity stolen. Make sure to have identity theft protection.
2. Have multiple bank accounts
I always have a checking account and savings accounts at a couple of different banks. I always enjoy having a credit union just because they have really wonderful rates.
Always have multiple accounts set up at separate banks because if you have your account hit, then you actually still have access to funds if you don't use a credit card or if you don't have cash on hand.
3. Have emergency cash on hand
Another thing I suggest is to have emergency cash on hand. If it's at home, in a safe, or just somewhere where you can access it in case your identity is stolen.
Debit cards and credit cards are what will be missing if you lose your wallet. So it's really important to make sure to have emergency cash not only in your bank accounts but physically too.
4. Change PINs and passwords often
Make sure to change your PIN often. If it's your bank accounts, your credit cards, online banking, your email accounts, your social accounts, social media accounts - all that. Change your passwords. I suggest changing them every 60 to 90 days.
If you have lost your wallet or you've had items stolen from you, go through and change all your passwords.
5. Use a credit card for online purchases
One other tip I suggest is if you are purchasing something from a store online, avoid using your checking account, routing numbers, or even a debit card. It's one reason why I have gotten back into having a credit card.
Use a credit card instead of your debit card, to protect yourself from being responsible for fraudulent transactions.
If you're traveling internationally, make sure to set that up with your bank. Let them know that you're doing some international traveling.
6. Set up alerts
One other major way to protect yourself and keep an eye on your accounts is to set up alerts. If you have a debit card, credit card, or checking account, then set up alerts on your accounts.
If it's an international transaction, if you have low balances, if you have major large transactions, you're going to be contacted and texted, or you can do it by email, etc.
How to protect yourself from fraud & identity theft
Those are just a few of the tips and ideas I have for you on how to protect yourself from fraud and identity theft. Be prepared if your house or car is broken into or if your identity gets stolen. Let me know your thoughts on this advice in the comments below.