Throughout the holiday season, it may feel like your to-do list is ever-growing
and things like balancing your checkbook may fall by the wayside for holiday
shopping, baking or present wrapping. To help ease the stress of securing your
identity while you navigate the last few weeks of the year, Checks Unlimited
Checks and John Sileo have made
you a fraud prevention checklist… now you just have to check
1. Pay attention to prevention!
Almost every day
in the news we hear about a new scam or data breach that victimizes thousands,
or even millions, of Americans. You don’t have to be a statistic! You can
significantly reduce your risk (and the impact) of potential fraud by
increasing your awareness and taking these three simple steps.
2. Lighten your load!
Did you know that
forty percent of identity theft happens because of a stolen wallet or
purse? Before you join the crowds of others to shop for your loved ones this
holiday season, review the contents of your purse or wallet and only carry what
3. Buyer beware on free, public Wi-Fi.
though it’s tempting to connect and shop the cyber sales from the comfort of
public places, such as a coffee shop, the risk may not be as convenient.
To protect yourself, ONLY use a secure, password protected internet
connection or the data plan on your personal smartphone or tablet’s cellular
connection when making online purchases or visiting sites that contain your
4. Cash, check or charge?
While cash is the
safest form or payment, you may not feel comfortable carrying a large amount of
cash on your person. Rest assured you can also have peace of mind writing a
check or using credit cards to pay for your holiday purchases. If paying by
check, use a gel-based pen to avoid the risk of “check
washing,”. When deciding between a debit or credit card, keep in mind
that if you pay by debit in the event of fraudulent charges, it can be a longer
reimbursement process with the bank than with a credit card company.
5. It’s the season of giving… but don’t overshare!!
While it is tempting to “check-in” at locations throughout your holiday travel,
it can also let thieves know that you are not home. Consider turning off
location services on your social media pages and double check your security
settings, especially on
Facebook, so only “Friends” can see your activity.
6. Secure your belongings during holiday parties.
Whether you are hosting a gathering or you are attending a party elsewhere, be
sure to secure your identity ahead of time. At home, consider locking all items
of value in a safe or locked room. Outside your home, carry minimal pieces of
identity in your purse or wallet.
7. Monitor your accounts daily.
unfortunate event that your identity is compromised, catching it quickly is the
key to reducing its impact. Take a few minutes each day to log into your
accounts to verify purchases made are that of your own. Also, sign up for
account activity alerts via email or text message and enable
two-factor authentication, when possible
9. Shipping made safer.
Having packages shipped
to a home address when the residents are not at home means the package may sit
outside for hours, often in plain view from the street. Instead, ask your loved
ones to provide a shipping address that will have a person available to sign
for delivery, whether it’s with a neighbor or at a work address, so your
packages and personal information don’t end up in the wrong hands.
10. Vette the charities you support.
social world, scams are growing by the minute, so it’s always best to exercise
caution before sending money to anyone.
Phishing emails, click jacking and distress scams are just three
examples you need to be aware of.
11. Update your computer’s anti-virus.
Having a strong defense on your computer can protect you against
potentially malicious software. Exercise caution when clicking links in any
emails or e-cards you receive and don’t be fooled by emails asking for your
personally identifiable information. When in doubt, go directly to the source
of the email in person or via phone.
12. Enjoy the holiday season!
Here at Checks
Unlimited Checks, we hope that you found our holiday tips helpful… and we wish
you happiness and health in the traditions you celebrate!