Making more frequent purchases online due to convenience and cost savings? You aren’t alone! From buying groceries to ordering takeout and everything in between, digital transactions have increased dramatically since 2020. Unfortunately, fraud attempts have, too.
Suspected online account attacks have increased worldwide, and fraud attempts specifically on social media platforms are also on the rise. The common target: credit and debit card information.
So how can you 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 we also care about preparing you with a few ways to stay extra vigilant about your security, too:
Keep tabs on your account and check in frequently on your mobile or online banking. Keeping a close eye on your account(s) allows you to authorize all transactions, monitor your balance to avoid any overdrafts and immediately recognize any purchases you didn’t make yourself.
You can contact us immediately if you notice any fraudulent transactions or suspicious activity with Gate City Bank. Our Fraud Detection Center works 24/7 to monitor your normal spending patterns and safeguard your accounts. If we suspect (or detect) fraudulent activity, we’ll contact you immediately at the phone number you’ve provided us, and we’ll work with you until the situation is resolved. The best part: You’re not liable for any unauthorized transactions – even if the fraudulent transactions are made using your Gate City Bank debit card! We’ll reimburse you for any fraudulent charges. Period.
If you’ve misplaced your card or notice anything suspicious, use your financial institution’s mobile app to immediately turn your debit card off to help protect against fraud. This allows you to temporarily block purchases from that debit card until you can either verify the purchase or place an order for a new one.
Strengthen your passwords by using numbers and special characters. It’s always a good idea to avoid using common words, names or birthdays as these are often easily deduced by fraudsters. It’s also a best practice to avoid participating in social media “surveys,” which ask questions such as your hometown, your children’s names, your maiden name, etc. These are incredibly easy to access online and are often used to try and digitally impersonate you in various ways.
Avoid using the same user ID and password on multiple accounts, both financial and otherwise. This is most helpful if your information is ever breached, preventing the fraudster from having access to multiple accounts at once with the same login information.
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 or phone number on your public profiles.
Additionally, it's always a best practice to customize your privacy settings to control who sees what, so you can avoid your information from showing up in a public search on a major search engine. We also suggest creating usernames that don’t reveal any personal or sensitive information. For example, avoid using your first and last name and birthday as your username as this is low-hanging fruit for fraudsters.
Taking a trip? Be sure to set up a travel alert for your account(s) to let your financial institution know your itinerary and dates of travel. Purchases in new locations, especially foreign countries, are a big red flag for potential fraud and may be automatically blocked – even if you are traveling abroad. By letting your bank know your destination and the length of your stay, it can work with you to ensure your vacation transactions are seamless, safe and convenient.
Carry only the minimum credit cards and identifying information that you need while traveling. This is safest in the event you misplace or lose your wallet.
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 can verify 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 page.