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Advice from Border Bank’s Fraud Team
Fraud Prevention

Advice from Border Bank’s Fraud Team

Angie TruscinskiAngie Truscinski
Risk Management, Security Officer

We hear about Fraud a lot on various media platforms and we wonder - how do we protect ourselves? The internet offers access to a world of products and services, entertainment and information. It also creates an opportunity for scams, hackers, and ID theft. ID theft can happen to anyone. Here are a few key steps you can do to reduce your risk.

  1. Protect your computer and smartphone. Use strong, up to date security software, such as antimalware, antivirus, and be sure your operating system is updated regularly.
  2. Learn to spot spam and scams. Some phishing scams are easy to identify; some phishing scams look very legitimate. The best way to not fall for a phishing scam is to never click on a link that has been sent to you. If you are not expecting the email, it is possibly a fraudulent email that could lead to your computer being hacked.
  3. Use strong passwords. As much as we all hate having multiple passwords, it is very important to have strong passwords and have separate passwords for online shopping versus your bank log in. A password manager or two factor authentications are ways to help mitigate the risk of having your passwords stolen. Also make sure your passwords do not include anything that is personal to you, such as birthdate, anniversary date, names of pets or family members. Scammers can easily find a lot of information about a person on the internet and social media, so do not give them the easy way into your computer.
  4. Monitor your credit scores. By law, you have the right to three free credit reports per year from the three most used credit bureaus, Experian, Transunion and Equifax. You can see their websites for information on how to receive. You should also review your score, look to see if there are new credit cards, loans or other transactions that you are not aware of. If you know you will not be applying for any credit, you could freeze your credit. There may be a charge from the credit bureau to unfreeze, so be sure to check out the options before deciding.
  5. Use only reputable websites when making purchases. If you are not sure of the company that you want to purchase from, do some research on the company. Check the reviews for the company, google the company, check them out on the Better Business Bureau. Those cute shoes on Facebook may not be from a reputable company so make sure to do your homework before ordering.
  6. Stay alert. Watch for common signs of ID theft such as false information on your credit report, missing bills or other mail, getting new credit cards you did not apply for, receiving calls or notices of past due bills for products you did not buy. Be wary of public WIFI and think twice before joining an unsecure network especially if you plan on logging into your bank account.

Using these methods will not guarantee you will be safe from ID theft but will help reduce the risk. If you do find your Identity has been stolen, use the website for guidelines on what to do to fight it.

Source: Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

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