There are many different scams that detrimentally impact the nation. Throughout this series, you have been introduced to the most common. Additionally, you have been alerted to the red flags that indicate that fraudulent activity is occurring. By knowing these red flags, you can easily avoid becoming the next victim of the scams that we have previously outlined, such as the IRS scam and the lottery scam.
This week, we will provide you with additional measures that you may take to protect your finances and your identity.
Learning how to protect your personal information and your financial information is a major step in avoiding serious complications pertaining to your money and your identity. We here at Somerville National Bank are dedicated and highly committed to protecting our customers. Adhere to the following in order to ensure that you are never victimized by someone seeking to do harm against you:
- You should practice a high level of caution when it comes to links contained in emails, instant messages, and text messages – especially if the messages that you receive are unsolicited. If you do click on a link contained in an unsolicited correspondence, it could contain malicious software. In today’s world, the most prevalent form of this type of software is ransomware.
- Being that we are on the topic of malicious software, we feel it is imperative to ensure that you have antivirus software on your computer. This helps to protect you against all forms of software that are considered to be malicious. Be certain that you schedule your antivirus software to run automatic updates and automatic scans as these measures will provide you with the highest level of security.
- If you receive a check in the mail, a cashier’s check, or any type of money order from an unknown source, it is imperative that you do not place these in your bank to cash. In doing so, you may provide those that engage in fraudulent activity with enough information to wipe all of your funds from your bank. If this were to occur, recovery of the money that you have lost may prove to be exceptionally difficult. In some cases, you may not be able to recover any of the money.
- If you receive any offers that you have not inquired about regarding rescuing the home from foreclosure or debt recovery, you should be cautious. While there are programs out there that are legitimate in aiding with these issues, not all of them are. Simply contact your bank for more information on legitimate programs.
- Finally, you should ensure that you consistently monitor your bank statements, your credit card bills, and your credit report. If you notice any unauthorized transactions, you must report them immediately.
If you feel that you have become a victim of a scam or that you have been subjected to a scam, you may contact the Consumer Response Center at the FDIC by calling 1-877-275-3342.