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    A Guide to Avoiding Financial Fraud

    Every day, fraudsters are hard at work trying to steal personal financial information from hardworking, honest people like you. They are more clever than ever, so you need to stay informed about how to avoid falling victim to their schemes.
    • If you receive an unexpected email or it appears suspicious, don’t click on it - DELETE IT!
    • If you receive a phone call from someone asking for personal or financial information - HANG UP!
    • If you receive a text message that appears suspicious, don’t open it - DELETE IT!
     You can also take additional pre-emptive steps to help protect your finances to decrease the likelihood of being a target. If your information is already secure and too difficult to acquire, fraudsters will probably move on to someone else. Consider these easy steps:
    • Placing a security freeze on your credit report with all three credit bureaus
    • Secure your home computers, tablets and mobile devices to prevent them from being infected with viruses or malware.
      • Add a password that is complex, and never write down your passwords.
      • Periodically change your password.
      • Store your devices in a safe location.
    • Monitor your accounts closely and immediately report any unauthorized activity.
    • When shopping online, remember to log out of the site when your purchase is complete and use secure passwords on any sites where you store personal information.
      • Do not use the same password on all sites. One breach can lead to a fraudster hitting your different accounts on multiple sites.
    • When shopping or performing online activity, use a private network such as your home WiFi and not a public space.
    • Check out the seller or company before purchasing items by searching for the company online and reading reviews.
      • Person-to-Person transfers (i.e. Zelle) are for family and friends, and the consumer is not protected if they pay a scammer for goods or services.
    • Cover your hand when entering your pin at the store or ATM.
      • Always be aware of your surroundings.
    • If someone contacts you about fraud on your card, don’t provide any financial information.
      • Contact your financial institution directly to confirm if the call was valid.
     As always, be sure to share this information friends and family you care about. The best way to prevent fraud is to make yourself aware of fraud so that you can stop it before it happens.
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