There's nothing more important than your safety, so don't let your guard down. Here are some tips to help protect you, your money and your privacy.
Credit card fraud is a multi-million dollar problem in the United States. Here are some simple precautions to help you keep your credit cards from falling into the wrong hands.
|•||Sign immediately. Sign the signature panel on your credit cards as soon as you receive them and keep duplicates in a safe place.|
|•||Memorize it. Don't carry your PIN (Personal Identification Number). Memorize it or keep the number at home.|
|•||Verify your card. Be sure your credit card is returned after a purchase, and that it is indeed your card.|
|•||Wait for it. Don't leave your credit and debit card receipts at the checkout counter. Always take your charge slips and tear up any carbons.|
|•||Save your receipts. Check them against your monthly billing statements to make sure you can identify all of your charges. Report any unauthorized charges immediately.|
|•||Shred or tear it up. Discard receipts at home and tear up all receipts before discarding.|
|•||Keep it private. Maintain the privacy of your account statements.|
|•||Out of sight. Never leave your purse or wallet unattended and always keep your cards out of plain sight.|
|•||Never lend your card. Your credit card is your responsibility. Also, periodically check to make sure you have all your cards.|
|•||Keep a list. In a separate location, keep a list of account numbers and telephone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen.|
|•||Report immediately. No matter where you are, report lost or stolen cards to minimize loss and liability.|
Check statements and watch your charges. Be cautious when giving your card number over the phone. Verify that your monthly statement reflects the amount you authorized. Also watch for multiple charges.
Most likely, you're using the ATM for more and more transactions and at times and places that are convenient for you. But don't let your guard down. Here are some tips to help protect yourself and your privacy.
|•||Stay alert. Be aware of your surroundings, especially at night. Park in a well-lighted area and have someone accompany you.|
|•||Report suspicious behavior. If you notice anything unusual, cancel your transaction, pocket your card, and leave immediately. Go to a safe place and call the police if you suspect dangerous or illegal activity.|
|•||Be prepared. Have your card ready. When the transaction is complete, pocket your card and cash immediately. Count it later in the safety of your locked car or home.|
|•||Drive-up ATMs. Remember to keep your doors locked, your other car windows up and your car running.|
|•||Treat your ATM card like cash. Guard your ATM card as carefully as cash, checks and credit cards.|
|•||Keep your PIN (Personal Identification Number) secret. Do not write your PIN on your card or keep it in your wallet.|
|•||Protect your privacy and the privacy of others. Be aware of others behind you. Position yourself in front of the ATM keyboard to prevent anyone from observing your PIN. Be courteous while waiting at an ATM, and keep a polite distance. Allow the person to complete the transaction before approaching the machine.|
|•||Save your receipts. Do not leave your receipt at the ATM. Remember to record each transaction and match it to your monthly statement.|
|•||Report a lost or stolen card immediately. Call your financial institution as soon as you realize your card has been lost or stolen. If you witness a crime, report it to the police and to the operator of the ATM.|
With growing criminal sophistication and an increase in identity theft, we suggest you take the following precautions to protect your information:
|•||Be discriminating when providing personal information, social security number, or credit card information over the telephone, in person or on the Internet.|
|•||Report lost or stolen checks immediately. Austin Telco will block payment on the check numbers involved.|
|•||Store cancelled checks and new checks in a safe place.|
|•||Notify the credit union of suspicious phone inquiries such as those asking for account information to verify a statement" or "award a prize."|
|•||Review your credit report at least once per year for accuracy.|
|•||Memorize your PIN (Personal Identification Number) and refrain from writing your social security number or credit card number on a check.|
|•||Tear up or shred pre-approved credit offers. Thieves can use these offers to assume your identity.|
|•||Keep mail secure. Don't mail bills or sensitive information from your home or unsecure mailboxes. Retrieve and review your mail promptly. Thieves may use the personal information contained in your mail to steal your identity.|
|•||Call the company immediately if you have not received a monthly bill. Someone may have filed a false change-of-address notice to divert your information to his or her address.|
|•||Review your monthly financial statements thoroughly. Investigate suspicious items immediately to head off any possible fraud before it occurs.|
|•||Do not carry your social security card, passport or birth certificate unless needed that day.|
If you think you have been a victim of fraud, immediately contact your financial institution and any credit card providers. Also, contact the three major credit bureaus.