These steps can help protect your money and information. How a simple email or SMS can open you to scams.
The pandemic has accelerated identity theft – and the impact on ordinary people is significant. In fact, the Americans have more than lost $ 382 million on fraud related to stimulus checks and unemployment benefits, counterfeit treatments for COVID-19, and more, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Even worse, Black and Latinx consumers are more likely to be victims of fraud than their white counterparts. Because of this, it is important to identify activities that are aimed at stealing your hard-earned money.
JPMorgan Chase is available to help consumers spot suspicious activity – from fake emails and texts to fake claims about ways to stay healthy. We sat down with Jordan King, the local community manager of the Chase Community Center branch on Crenshaw Blvd., to discuss tips and best practices for a better financial future.
What should consumers watch out for with scammers?
King: Let’s start with emails and texts. Phishing is the fancy name for email purporting to be from legitimate companies – including banks. They really come from criminals trying to get your personal information like passwords and credit card numbers.
The email may ask you to reply or click a link that will take you to a website that is similar to your bank’s website. You will then be asked to provide your username, password, account number, personal identification number (PIN), social security number, or other personal information. In addition, if you click an attachment on this email, software called malware may be downloaded that tracks or steals your information.
So be very careful when clicking on a link in an email. instead go straight to the company’s website. And don’t click attachments unless you are sure they are from someone you know and trust.
Scammers are increasingly starting to contact victims via text or phone, mostly from a number they don’t know, telling them there is a problem with your bank account, including it being closed, frozen, or canceled unless You call a phone number or go to a website listed in the message and provide your personal and / or account information.
Are there any specific signs to look out for?
King: Yes, here are a few surefire ones:
- Scammers will often tell you that they are a Problem or price. You may say you are in trouble with the government, you owe money, someone in your family is having an emergency, there is a problem with your account, or you won the lottery. Remember – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- After you set up the problem or the price, become scammers urge you to act immediately. They want you to hand over your sensitive information before you have time to think about it. They could threaten you, emphasize a sense of urgency, or say you are running out of time. However, no legitimate business or government agency will pressure you in this way or request your personal information, such as your social security number, bank account, or credit card numbers, by phone or email.
How can consumers protect their money and information?
King: Here are some best practices:
- Protect your online information. Download and update antivirus software for your computer, and do not enter sensitive information on public computers or on unsecured networks. Also, be careful about disclosing your financial username and passwords online – this includes financial websites and apps that offer tools to help you manage your accounts, invest, or prepare your taxes.
- Only buy from safe websites. Look for a lock symbol in the address of a website. This helps protect your credit card number, expiration date and three-digit CVV.
- Change your passwords often. Change your passwords frequently and use a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. Don’t use your pet’s name, your child’s name, or anything else that is easy to find out.
- Create a separate password for each financial institution. This offers an additional level of protection in the event that a problem occurs at an institution.
- Monitor your accounts. Log into your accounts regularly – even daily – via online banking or your mobile banking app to monitor transactions and your account balance. Look for transactions that you don’t recognize. You can also view your monthly statements and contact your bank immediately if you have any problems.
- Set up an additional confirmation. The correct name is two-factor or multi-factor authentication. It just means you have to take an extra step or two to access your information. For example, you can request that a text message with a code be sent to the cell phone number that you previously provided to the company. The first time you log into your Chase account electronically or with a device unknown to us, we will ask for your username, password and a temporary identification code. And we will send it to you by phone, email or SMS.
- Destroy sensitive documents. Destroy bank records, checks deposited through mobile banking, and other documents that contain your account information. Keep monthly checking and savings account statements in a safe place until you file your taxes and then destroy them as well. Chase and other banks offer paperless statements so you can view the information online without having to worry about paper.
- Check your credit report. Read your credit reports carefully at least once a year. You can request a free annual credit report from any of the three national credit reporting agencies, even if you do not suspect any unauthorized activity is on your account. visit annualcreditreport.com.
How does Chase protect customers from fraud?
King: We see it as a partnership; We help protect your accounts and information, and so do you. We monitor all of our accounts 24/7 including the use of security measures that you cannot see.
Even if we find or flag a transaction that you have not authorized, we offer Zero Liability Protection, which means you will not be held responsible for it.
Stop by our Crenshaw Blvd store or our other locations to learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to customer safety through our fraud prevention and protection tools. I look forward to working with you.
JPMorgan Chase & Co.