One Simple Act to Reduce Fraud

According to U.S. News and World Report: Money, the average person checks Facebook 14 times in any given day from their smartphone, but most people almost never check their online banks or financial statements. The simple act of checking your accounts and statements every day can help reduce your risk for fraud. Fraudsters rely heavily on missteps and over-confidence from consumers. Make it a habit to constantly check your financial accounts. Here are some tips for staying on top of your credit and debit cards:

Integrate it into your routine. Sure, checking Facebook with your morning coffee may be enticing, but why not check your credit card statement, as well? It will only take a minute to double check things, and you can act immediately if something is awry.

Make your checking account a priority. If you have too many accounts, and too many credit cards, make it a priority to at least check your checking account. With a credit card, federal law typically limits your liability for fraudulent activity to $50, regardless of when you report the activity. That’s not the case with debit cards: If you report the fraudulent debit card activity within two days of seeing it, your liability under federal law is $50. However, wait longer than that and your liability shoots up to $500. (If you wait more than 60 days, there may be no limits to your liability.) Plus, remember that debit card fraud takes real money out of your bank account – money that can take up to two weeks for the bank to replace. That missing money can cause a mortgage payment or car payment to bounce, and that can cause even bigger problems.

It gets easier.The first time you check your bank account, it might take a little while to review 20 to 30 transactions. But when you log in the next day, you’ll only have one day of transactions to check out – and chances are that any transactions you made on that day will be fresh in your mind, making fraudulent ones stick out like a sore thumb.

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About Nicholas Sanchiz

Nicholas Sanchiz is a Communications Intern for the Council of Better Business Bureaus based out of Arlington, VA. He is originally from Panama City, Panama. He is also a sophomore at The George Washington University looking to double major in Communications and Philosophy.