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Fraud Prevention II: Stay one Step Ahead of the Curb

Since March is fraud prevention month, it may be a good time to have a look over your past financial protection techniques to see if you should switch things up a little bit. There are steps you can take to stay one step ahead of the curb and avoid financial fraud.
Properly dispose of financial documents—if you have outdated financial documents that you want to get rid of, think twice before you throw them into the trash. One way people get a hold of another’s identity is through “dumpster diving” for sensitive information like your mother’s maiden name. If you’ve called the bank before, you would know they typically ask “what’s your mother’s maiden name” for identity verification purposes, now imagine if someone got access to your information just because they found that information in the trash.  As a best practice, always shred your outdated financial information before placing it in the trash bin, that way you can discourage thieves from retrieving your information by making it more of a hassle.
Use longer, more complex passwords and change them regularly—Longer, more complex passwords makes it harder for people to guess even if they got a hold of some of your information. Strong passwords should be at least 10 characters long, have numbers, a combination of lower case and capital case letters, as well symbols, for example #0neY13ee$.  Also consider creating a password that has no association with you.  E.g. don’t use your name, date of birth, address, etc. If you do use things that could be linked to you, people close to you, or people who find your information, could guess your password.
Protect your PINs—It’s important to shield your PIN with your hand or wallet whenever you are using a bank or debit machine.  Placing your hand or wallet in front of the number pad blocks it from all views except for you. This blocks fraudsters from taking video of you entering your PIN in a technique known as “skimming.”
Follow the three steps above for safer banking and check out: Financial Fraud: Five Warning Signs to Lookout For to learn more about some warnings signs that a financial fraud may be happening.

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