Hopefully, you haven’t been a victim of a scam or fraud, but if you have, don’t be so hard on yourself. In 2021 alone, there were 5.7 million reports of various types of fraud.*
But does that mean you have to sit around and wait for your turn in life’s most unfair lottery? Not at all. You do have the power to enact some simple, preventive measures that can keep your sensitive information safe. Here are four basic best practices you can put in place right now.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You won’t win a contest you never entered, but scammers might try to entice you to click on dangerous links promising rewards like prize money. Some might send text messages about packages or claim suspicious account activity. Take extra care before clicking any links sent to you out of the blue.
Phone spoofing, where a scammer impersonates a legitimate organization or a person you know by having their telephone number appear on your caller ID, is another common trick. If you are ever unsure that who you are talking to is legitimate, hang up and call your bank or other institution directly. It’s always better to be safe than to be sorry.
Scammers will also try to pressure you to act immediately through threats. They don’t want you to have time to think or check on their story. If you feel that someone on the phone or someone you don’t know through text is pressuring you for financial information or to send money, take a minute to verify their story.
Many of us are guilty of signing into an account on our phone or computer and never logging out so we don’t need to remember another password. Though it saves time and some frustration, it could end up costing you money and creating more headaches down the line if a scammer finds a way to get a hold of your device, physically or virtually.
As a best practice, multi-factor authentication can help protect sensitive information. The extra steps are worth the enhanced security. Think of it like the old saying: it’s an ounce of prevention to avoid a pound of the cure.
Head to your Rockland Trust online banking account and set up multi-factor authentication today. This will ensure that when signing in from a new device, you will receive a Secure Access Code. In the menu bar, select “settings,” then “security preferences” then “secure delivery” to add in an email address, SMS text number and voice number. Questions about online banking? Check out our FAQ
Keeping tabs on your credit report is easier now than ever before. Many credit card companies and other financial institutions offer access to free credit reporting on a regular basis. Checking your credit report frequently can alert you early on to identity theft or other issues. You also can catch mistakes in your report and dispute them.
Remember being warned against talking to strangers as a kid? The same goes for text messages or calls from numbers you don’t recognize that are claiming to be from your financial institution. This is particularly true when you get a text or call requesting login information, PIN or verification codes, or other sensitive information. A bank like Rockland Trust will never call or text you to ask for login details like username or passwords, or other sensitive information like your social security number. Remember to trust your gut and verify before divulging any information or sending money to someone you do not trust.
When it comes to your financial life, Rockland Trust is here to help you reach the milestones and goals that mean the most to you. Our new Back to Basics series helps you learn more about our economy and money-related topics to help get you on your way. Don’t forget to check out other helpful Learning Center resources for tips and tricks about budgeting, homeownership, retirement and more.
*According to Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2021
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Rockland Trust Online Banking gives you a variety of services that help you use and manage your accounts, whenever and wherever you want.
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Rockland Trust makes it easy to manage all of your accounts with our simple online portals.
Rockland Trust gives you a variety of services that help you use and manage your accounts, whenever and wherever you want.
* indicates a required field.