Most people know that the holiday season is high time for all types of fraudulent financial activity, but you shouldn’t let your guard down any other time of the year either. This week, 4 metro-Atlanta residents have been arrested for allegedly using fraudulent checks in a children’s store in Canton, GA. This could happen to anyone – whether you are a business owner or just accepting payment for something you’ve sold on Craigslist or the Woodstock Facebook Yard Sale. Keep these things in mind to protect yourself from financial fraud:
- Never accept personal checks for payment without verification of the account.
- Avoid accepting cashiers checks as they are just as commonly counterfeited as personal checks.
- Always keep your credit or debit card in a safe and secure place. Treat it as you would cash or checks.
- Do not give out your card number over the phone unless you initiated the call.
- Sign up for mobile banking on all of your accounts and credit cards. This way, you can always check your accounts on the go.
- To keep your debit card safe, it is a good idea to change the PIN number every six months.
- Anytime you get a new credit or debit card, cut up or shred your old one.
- Shop with merchants that you know and trust.
Be on the lookout for any suspicious activity while you are shopping or selling. It pays off to play it safe with your financial information!