Celebrate National Consumer Protection Week
March 4th through 10th is National Consumer Protection Week in the United States. As a nationwide campaign, federal, state, and local governments come together to encourage consumers to get informed about protecting their finances. Whether its identity theft or financial fraud, the impact scams can have on the safety and security of your financial future can be monumental.
Credit card fraud is the number one type of identity theft in the U.S. According to the Consumer Sentinel Network, 17% of all identity theft cases reported linked in some way back to credit cards. Florida has the highest number of reported cases, followed by Arizona and Texas. Over 1.1 million adults in the U.S. say they have been a victim of identity fraud. Unfortunately, instances of fraud seem to be increasing, in 2010 alone there was a 12% rise in the number of reported cases.
You need to educate yourself and protect your personal information as much as possible. These fraudsters seem to get trickier and trickier – particularly online, which means you need to be aware at all times. There’s no doubt they can be quite deceiving but that just means you have to be more on your game. It’s vital for you to do everything possible to protect your identity from theft or fraud. Here are some tips the financial gurus at www.missmoneybee.com put together to help keep your personal information safe from fraudsters.
- Never let a person take your credit card where you can’t see it. A skilled identity thief can make an imprint of your card or even call a partner with the information to begin making online purchases almost instantly.
- Shred everything. It may seem trivial and a little time consuming but it’s worth it. Make sure to shred any financial documents and credit card statements. Your account information can be taken off of these documents and used to access your accounts.
- Use reputable websites. When shopping online use reputable websites that have a secure site. A secure site starts with “https://” rather than “http://”. Only enter account information if you see the “s” in the URL web address bar.
- Never give your PIN (personal identification number) or online account login information for financial accounts to anyone. This is an easy way to avoid having your bank account drained by a desperate criminal or even just an unhappy ex.
- Monitor monthly statements. Make it a point to always look over your financial statements, check to ensure all the transactions are yours. It may take a little time, but you can see a transaction history and verify that your cards are only being used by you.