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Gaming to Getaways: How to Protect Yourself from Fraud

Making more frequent purchases online since the beginning of the pandemic? You aren’t alone.

From buying groceries to playing online games, digital transactions have increased dramatically since the beginning of COVID-19. Unfortunately, fraud attempts have, too.

In fact, suspected attacks have increased worldwide over the last year, spiking 393% in gaming and 156% in the travel industry (TransUnion: American Banker, August 2021). Fraud attempts on social media platforms are also on the rise. The common target: credit and debit card information.

So how you can keep your personal information secure? At Gate City Bank, we take every precaution possible to help protect you from fraud, scams and identity theft. But there are several ways that you can stay vigilant about your security, too.

Here Are 6 Ways to Help Protect Yourself:

  1. Watch for Unusual Activity.
    Check your accounts often with online or mobile banking, and contact us immediately if you notice any fraudulent transactions. Gate City Bank also has a Fraud Detection Center to monitor your debit card 24/7 and can quickly recognize purchases outside of your normal spending pattern.

  2. Use Debit Card Controls.
    If you’ve misplaced your card or notice anything suspicious, use your Gate City Bank mobile app to immediately turn your debit card “off” or “on” to help protect against fraud.

  3. Use Strong Usernames and Passwords.
    Strengthen your passwords by using numerals and special characters. Don’t use common words, names or birthdays. As a good rule of thumb, avoid using the same user ID and password on all of your financial accounts, too.
    See more identity protection tips.

  4. Stay Secure with Social Media and Online Games.
    If you use your phone to browse social platforms, password-protect your device and use different passwords for each of your social media accounts. Avoid revealing personal information like your address and phone number, and customize your privacy settings to control who sees what. Also, remember to not share information that may be answers to your security questions, such as the school you attended, your first pet, favorite food, etc.

    When it comes to online games, create a username that doesn’t reveal any personal information and do not share sensitive information with other players.

  5. Submit a Travel Notice.
    Taking a trip? Give us a call at 701-293-2400 or 800-423-3344, or use your Gate City Bank mobile app to set up a travel alert for your account. Purchases in new locations, especially foreign countries, are a big red flag for potential fraud. By letting us know your destination and the length of your stay, we can help ensure your vacation transactions are seamless, safe and convenient.

    In addition, carry only the minimum credit cards and identifying information that you need.

  6. Protect Your Personal Information.
    Always store your personal information in a safe place, and shred old receipts and account statements before throwing them away. Be careful not to share information over the phone, online or by mail unless you initiated the contact and know the recipient.

At Gate City Bank, we’re committed to protecting your security and your peace of mind.  For more tips on everything from safeguarding your computer to avoiding identity theft, visit our security and fraud resources.

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