In 2018 people lost $1.4 billion, yes billion with a B, to scamming. As the advent of crafty technology, increases so will this number keeps increasing year after year. This is why you need to take measures to secure your bank account.
A dear friend of mine called me this week and told me she was had been scammed recently. This person lost their job because of the COVID-19 pandemic and relies on their partner to provide for the family. Their partner got paid $400 on Friday, but when they checked their bank account that weekend the balance was $0. Someone had withdrawn ALL their money. They were heartbroken and confused. What made the situation worse was that the bank required a 21 working day waiting period before they could get their money back.
Luckily, my friend has a good support system and will be ok until the bank refunds the money. Others, however, may not be so lucky. Since the billion-dollar scamming industry is here to stay we need to work overtime to ensure our money is protected. In this post, I’ll share tips on how you can decrease the chances of your money being stolen by scammers by securing your bank account.
Two Step Verification
For all online bank accounts ALWAYS use the two step verification feature. It is one of the strongest protections you can use to prevent scammers from hacking your online bank account. Activating this feature does not require you to be technologically savvy as it only requires the press of a button. Once you have this feature activated, every time you sign into your account, you’ll be required to enter an activation code that was sent to your phone (or email). So, if a hacker did manage to get your username and password, this second step would prevent them from proceeding to your account and you’d be alerted to the intrusion.
Check ATM Machines
I only recently learned that scammers now use a device that can be attached to ATM machines with the ability to read your card. They can then use the stolen information to create ‘dummy’ cards and proceed to make purchases/withdrawals from your account. To prevent this from happening, whenever you go to the ATM be vigilant and look for any signs of tampering such as scraping or any odd objects.
For my personal bank accounts, I follow the password policy that I must adhere to at my job. The policy says a password MUST have ALL of the following:
a. Twelve characters minimum
b. Must update every 90-180 days
c. Must contain a numerical character
d. Must contain a special character (!@#$%^&*)
e. You cannot reuse your old passwords.
Using this policy as a guide can prevent hackers from gaining access to your account and provide added security to your money.
There are multiple notifications you can activate in your online bank account to alert you to activities on your account. Personally, I am alerted every time my debit card is used without the pin and every time my credit card is used to make a purchase online. You can also set up account withdrawal notices. While this is not a preventative measure, it will alert you to any fraudulent activity as soon as possible. The sooner you are aware of unauthorized activity the sooner you’re able to report it.
Check Your Balance
As archaic as it sounds this is a foolproof way for detecting fraudulent bank account activities. I’m not suggesting you check your account obsessively, but rather once or twice a week should be sufficient to detect any transaction you may find suspicious.
Unfortunately, the fact is we live among unscrupulous people who have mastered the art of scamming and robbery. The steps mentioned in this article will provide adequate surveillance to ensure your bank account is secured.
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