How savvy are you when it comes to protecting yourself from fraud? Earlier this week we discussed what we do to keep your VCNB accounts safe. Today we want to talk about what you can do to protect yourself.
Protect Your Information
Sometimes you have to provide personal information for legitimate business reasons. For example, you are required to provide personal information when you open a bank account, apply for a credit card or enroll in college. However, you should avoid giving out this personal information unless absolutely necessary. Examples of personal information that should be kept personal include:
Address and Zip Code
Date of Birth
Social Security Number
Card or Account Number
Card Expiration Date
There is some information that you should NEVER share with anyone else. Passwords and Personal Identification Numbers (PIN) should absolutely never be shared and should always be kept private.
Using Your Card
Be attentive and vigilant when using your card at an ATM, in a store or a restaurant. Always cover your card and PIN and watch for anything out of place including:
- Cameras, cell phones, mirrors or other instruments that might be used to view your card or PIN.
- Individuals who are watching you.
- Cashiers who take your card out of sight. Take it to the register yourself when possible.
- Devices or items used to cover the card slots of an ATM, gas pump or other card machines. These devices can be used by criminals to capture your card information.
- Any other unusual or suspicious activity.
Never respond to unsolicited emails that request personal information or that ask you to verify your card or account number. Legitimate businesses do not send these types of emails. Also beware of links to websites. A website may look legitimate but may collect data or even install spyware on your computer.
Are you traveling? If traveling abroad, contact VCNB before you leave. We can provide assistance and advice to help keep you safe on your journey. If traveling domestically, you do not need to contact us but it is wise to make some purchases along the way. Headed to the beach? Use your card to book the hotel and purchase gas along the way.
Also, make sure we can always reach you if we suspect fraud. Be sure to keep your current home, cell and work phone numbers on file with us. If we suspect fraudulent activity on your account, we need to reach you as soon as possible.
As we told you yesterday, we never solicit personal information via phone, email or text message. If someone contacts you requesting account information, your social security number, PIN, passwords or other personal information, do not provide this information. The bottom line is you should trust your instincts. If it feels suspicious it probably is. If you missed yesterday’s post, be sure to check it out.