Vacation time means fun...and potential fraud 
Here are 5 simple ways to lower your risk. 
The summer travel season is here, and thieves are just as ready as you are! While monitoring like Shazam's Falcon Fraud manager certainly helps us minimize your risk, it's always wise to be proactive in protecting yourself.  
These simple steps can help safeguard your account while you travel.  
 
1. Contact your financial institution before you leave 
    This is as much for your convenience as safety. If they're unaware you're                traveling to Disney World, for example, they may freeze your account when a purchase is made there. Share as much detail as possible - dates, cities, how much you might spend, and how you can be reached.  
2. Clean out your wallet 
    Carrying a lot of credit and debit cards on vacation only increases the likelihood that one of them will become lost or stolen. Take only what you need, and make sure your limits are high enough to cover all expenses.  
3. Make a stop at the copy machine 
    Copy or scan the front and back of each card you plan to take. Be sure your account number and toll-free customer service number are legible (if you're traveling internationally, make sure you have appropriate phone numbers). Store the information somewhere other than where your card is, such as a hotel safe.  
4. Keep an eye on your cards 
    Food servers and store clerks can steal card information easily with a skimming device, so don't let your cards out of sigh. If that's not possible, consider paying with cash. And remember, it's perfectly OK to let your instincts guide you. If something seems fishy, go somewhere else.  
5. Check your balance frequently 
    Carefully monitoring your account is a great way to combat fraud. If your financial institution has Internet or mobile banking, take advantage of it by checking your balance several times each day. 
 
 
There are a number of ways to keep your money and personal information safe. 

  • Keep your Social Security card at home in a safe and secure location.  Only provide your Social Security number when absolutely necessary.
  • Replace paper checks, statements, and invoices with electronic versions if offered.  Shred documents containing personal or financial information before discarding.
  • Protect your passwords and PINs and do not share them with anyone.
  • Ensure that any transactions you do online are secure.  Look for the padlock icon and https:// on the website address.
  • Keep your computer updated with operating system and other software updates and patches.  Use a current and functioning anti-virus and anti-spyware solution.  A firewall helps prevent unauthorized users from gaining access to your computer.  Be especially wary of attachments and links inside email messages and be cautious of the programs you download from the Internet.
  • Never respond to an email or text message requesting that you provide personal information to verify an account or re-activate a service.
  • Review your credit report at least annually and look for suspicious or unknown transactions.  You can get a free credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus at www.annualcreditreport.com.
  • If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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    Even if you follow all of these tips, it is still possible to become a victim of fraud.  As soon as you realize you are being scammed or robbed, report it! 
     
    Helpful links: 
  • Federal Trade Commission – Your Rights: Credit Reporting

  • National Fraud Information Center
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    FDIC
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