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Personal fraud management: staying a step ahead

I just finished reading an article which discussed how to avoid becoming a fraud victim. The author discussed various schemes facing consumers today (e.g. e-mail scams, online banking fraud, etc.), ways to avoid or combat said attacks (e.g. anti-virus software) and ways to recoup lost money from a fraud scam (which can be contingent on how responsible you are as a consumer).

Beyond encouraging the reader to “adopt a sensible approach to security” I felt the article fell short of some real actions the consumer can adopt to thwart attempted fraud.

Many banks and card issuers today offer text message (SMS) alerting to the mobile phone as a way to keep the customer aware of and engaged in transaction activity.  In some countries the practice is so pervasive, consumers get concerned if they don’t feel their mobile phone vibrate at the point-of-sale alerting them of their most recent purchase.  Also, people should regularly monitor the activity of their accounts. While most banks have fraud detection systems that monitor transaction patterns for anomalies, consumers can take a similar approach. Basic internet or online banking allow the customer to check their account activity at any time of the day or night ensuring they are in complete control of their finances and related activity.  And now mobile banking puts that same monitoring (literally) in the hands of the consumer through the bank or issuers mobile app.

Expanding on the consumer responsibility theme the author mentions: make yourself aware of your bank or issuer’s fraud policies. Most banks and issuers have pages on their website dedicated to security and fraud prevention with contact information which can prove useful if you think something is amiss.

Staying involved in your personal fraud management will not only help you protect your assets, but will save you a lot of time and worry should you fall victim to a fraudulent scheme.

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