Holiday Season Alert
*Season for Credit/Debit Card Fraud*
During the holiday season, credit and debit-card fraud is prevalent, particularly over the weekend, when many banks are closed. A notification of bank card fraud has been reported tonight from a staff member. Here are some safety tips to aid you in protecting your accounts.
Safety Tips to Protect Your Accounts:
- Sign up for cell-phone alerts for each bank transaction. (see if your bank offers this service)
- If you fear your Social Security Number has been compromised, check into a trusted credit monitoring service.
- Limit the amount of funds you keep in your main account to prevent thieves from totally exhausting your checking account/debit card (especially on the weekends, when it is difficult to gain cash if your card has been compromised). You may want to consider storing funds into a second account that is not attached to a bank card.
- Limit the amount of your overdraft protection that would allow a thief to spend hundreds, even thousands above your actual balance.
- Use trusted websites when making holiday online purchases. Check with the Bbb.org (Better Business Bureau) to see registered complaints against a website.
- Use indoor ATMs at banks or other trusted locations. Always block the keypad when entering your PIN.
- Check ATMs for skimming devices and/or hidden cameras directed at the keypad, rather than the user.
- Never provide credit card information in response to strange email messages.
- When shopping on line (based on tv commercials or promotions), make sure you have entered the proper name and spelling of the website. Many fake sites exist that can be one letter or extension off from the correct site (example .com vs .org or .net or .tv)
- Most importantly, check with your bank to see what precautions are available to keep track of spending on your account.
- If you receive a call or email from someone, stating to be your bank's representative, do not provide any personal information until you have verified information. Most banks will not ask for information by email. If they are calling to report a breach, they will already have your most important information and will not need your Personal Identification Number (PIN). You can always ask for a phone number and let them know you will call back.
- If you feel your information has been compromised, close your bank account and have funds transferred to a new account.
More Safety Tips:
Office of Community Outreach
Metropolitan Police Department
Preventing terrorism is everybody’s business.
If you SEE something, SAY something.
Call the Metropolitan Police Department at (202) 727-9099 or email at SAR@... to report suspicious activity or behavior that has already occurred.
Call 911 to report in-progress threats or emergencies.
To learn more, visit http://www.mpdc.dc.gov/operationtipp.