Identity theft – one of the fastest growing crimes, nationwide

ID Restoration from the Community Bank of the ChesapeakeIn 2012, identity theft affected the lives of 12.6 million consumers nationwide. What is identity theft? Identity theft occurs when someone uses another person’s personal information such as name, Social Security number, driver’s license number, credit card number or other identifying information to take on that person’s identity in order to commit fraud or other crimes. In 12 percent of identity theft cases, the victim knew the perpetrator personally. Continue reading

From the ABA: Protect Your Small Business from Account Fraud

Prevent Corporate Account FraudCorporate account takeover is a type of fraud where thieves gain access to a business’ finances to make unauthorized transactions, including transferring funds from the company, creating and adding new fake employees to payroll, and stealing sensitive customer information that may not be recoverable. The American Banker’s Association recommends following these tips to keep your small business safe. Continue reading

Security: Payday Loans and Cash Advances

Payday Loan AlternativesYou’ve probably heard radio advertisements promising, “Easy credit with immediate approval!” Or maybe you’ve come across online ads declaring, “The money you need is just a click away,” while visiting your favorite websites. These enticing offers, known as cash advances or payday loans, can be far more complex and problematic than you might think.

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Security: Emergency Prep

emergency prep toolsDo you know what to do in the event of an emergency at home or on the road? Is your first aid kit ready and up to date? While it’s difficult to imagine how you might react in the event of an accident, injury or severe weather condition, it is important to be prepared. Ensure your readiness and heed the advice from these trusted and experienced authorities on the matter.

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Mobile Devices: Stay Safe on the Go

MobilePhoneShoppingDo you use your smartphone or tablet to text friends or conduct business via email? Or maybe you have a hard time remembering what it was like not having eBay or Amazon.com at your fingertips? As you rely more and more on your mobile device for these and other functions, make certain you are taking the proper precautions to keep you and your mobile device safe. Continue reading

Protect Your Debit Card

While your debit card may look like a credit card, the potential losses resulting from debit card fraud can actually be more severe. Here are some tips from the FTC on how to protect your debit card, including:

  • Don’t disclose your account number over the phone unless you initiate the call.
  • Don’t sign a blank charge or debit slip.
  • Cut up old cards — cutting through the account number — before you throw them away.
  • Don’t carry your PIN in your wallet, purse, or pocket — or write it on your ATM or debit card.
  • Commit it to memory.
  • Never write your PIN on the outside of a deposit slip, an envelope, or other papers that could be lost or looked at.
  • Carefully check your ATM or debit card transactions; the funds for this item will be quickly transferred out of your checking or other deposit account.
  • Periodically check your account activity, especially if you bank online.

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5 Tips for Protecting Your Checking Account

When it comes to protecting your checking account, who better to give advice than the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, headed up by Chairman Ben S. Bernanke?

The Board’s advice may sound familiar, but it’s better to listen twice than get burned once. From “don’t talk to strangers” about your account to “know your rights” under the law, these tips are worth reviewing.

Not sure what the Federal Reserve Board does, or how the Federal Reserve System works? Check out In Plain English: Making Sense of the Federal Reserve on the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.