Protecting your checking accounts is vital. Identity thieves are not exclusively going after credit card information, they are using your banking information, your checking accounts information and more to ring up huge bills.
Unfortunately, most identity thieves do not hack accounts to get checking account information, they are typically handed the information by the owner of the account. You can protect your information by following five simple steps.
Identity theft can happen to anyone that is not careful with their information and who they share it with. There were over 15 billion victims of identity theft last year with over 16 billion dollars in losses. Unfortunately, in many cases, the victims unwittingly handed over their information.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Personal Checking Account Information?
There are five steps to ensuring that you are taking care of your checking accounts, credit cards, debit cards, and other financial information:
- Step 1- Never share banking information with anyone. Do not give anyone your pin number, or account information.
- Step 2- Do not accept checks from anyone that you do not know. Do not deposit checks to help someone out or if you are promised payment for something and the source needs you to send money back to them.
- Step 3- Be on heightened alert online.
- Step 4-Check your checking account frequently.
- Step 5- Alert your bank if you think someone has gotten your information.
There are plenty of scams out there to get your checking account information. Typically, if an offer sounds too good to be true than it is. In some cases, the perpetrator does not want your information they want you to cash a “bad” check for them using your checking account.
One of the biggest scams out there is a job offer scam. The “employer” needs help with managing an art gallery, studio, or some other business. They will send you a check for a few thousand dollars and tell you that you can keep X amount of dollars out of it to help cover your initial expenses but they need you to wire back the remanding money. Your checking account takes a hit when the check does not clear.
Never accept a check as a form of payment from a person that you do not know, that lives overseas, or is offering a great deal of money for simply cashing the check.
Be Very Careful Online
Many identity theft crimes start out online. It is important that you keep your information secure when online. There are many predators online that are phishing for your information.
Keep Tabs On Your Checking Account
You should check your checking account frequently, and notify your bank immediately if you suspect fraudulent activity. If you suspect fraudulent activity and notify your bank the appropriate actions can be taken.