By Karen Sylvester, AAP, APRP, CAMS, CRCM, NCP, Senior Director, Compliance Education.
This article has been reposted with permission.
Like it or not, the holiday season is fast approaching. I'm sure we all know at least one person who is counting down the days until they can trade their pumpkins for Christmas trees! But, while protecting your information may seem like a simple task, we are often distracted or in a hurry this time of year, and security sometimes falls through the cracks.
To that end, here are a few suggestions for fraud protection this holiday season. Although these tips may not save the world, passing them along to your friends and loved ones, and keeping them in mind yourself, may save some money and inconvenience over the next few months.
Take Only What You Need
Before heading out to the mall, clean out your purse or wallet, taking only the required identification and card(s) or cash you will need to do your shopping. If your wallet (or purse) is lost or stolen, this will limit your losses and entities to contact. Never leave your belongings unattended, even in your shopping cart as you turn your head to look at an item. Criminals are always watching for you to be distracted so they can snag your prized possessions. Bonus: taking the bare minimum will keep you from straining your back with a loaded purse or wallet while carrying all those extra packages - now you're protecting your bank account and your back!
Check Your Accounts
Thanks to the power of technology, it's easy to check our bank account balances regularly and on the go. Notifying your financial institution will help minimize loss and frustration. Checking your account balance may also lessen the chance of overdrawing your funds by keeping a closer eye on your transactions.
Don't Have Your Money Out
Having your money out in front of the wrong person can make you a target for theft. Only take your money out when absolutely necessary and be sure to put it back in a safe place before leaving the register.
Use Only One Card
If possible, limit all your spending to one single card. Data breaches have occurred in the past at major retailers and credit card companies. Should something similar occur, you can reduce the risk of having multiple cards compromised.
Research New Companies
During the holiday season, many companies you may have never heard of will be advertising. Unfortunately, some of these companies will be illegitimate. Research a business you haven't purchased from before by checking review or complaints with the Better Business Bureau.
The holiday season should be a time of family, friends, and good cheer. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of heartache and frustration at the hands of fraudsters. While doing your holiday shopping, take a few minutes to remind yourself ot be aware of your surroundings, protect your information, and monitor all your accounts to limit your liability and potential losses. Be sure to also pass this information along to your colleagues and loved ones.
These forms are available to apply for a Loan or to place a Stop-Pay on a check. Simply download and fill out the form and then return to the credit union for processing.
For Membership Form:
Current unexpired ID for you and any joint owners
If the address is different from the ID, 2 forms of mail with a current address that has your name on it for each account owner
$10.00 for a minimum savings account.
For Loan Application:
Last 2 paycheck stubs for the applicant and any co-applicant.
If non-member application, we need a current unexpired ID and $25.00 (refunded upon loan approval)