5 strategies to avoid being the victim of fraud

From phishing scams to check fraud, here’s what to watch for – and how to keep your money safe

Renee Naidu, Deposit Operations Director at Peoples Bank

Renee Naidu, Deposit Operations Director at Peoples Bank

With the holiday season just around the corner, shoppers aren’t the only ones ramping up their activity. Fraudsters are also hard at work, capitalizing on the excitement of the season with new ways to convince people to part with their passwords, banking and credit card information … and their money.

The good news is that protecting yourself from fraud starts with taking a moment to pause.

If you receive a phone call, text or email claiming to be from your bank, credit card company, Amazon or any other company, take a moment to pause before taking any action. Fraudsters will often create a sense of urgency for you to respond. By pausing in the moment, you can better assess the situation and avoid sharing personal information or clicking on a link by mistake.

That said, fraudsters are becoming more sophisticated, and as people do more transactions online, it’s easy to get tricked. Here are some best practices to help you avoid becoming a victim:

  1. If someone calls, texts or emails asking for personal information, never respond to the number or email they use. Instead, PAUSE, then contact the organization directly to verify the request. Do this using the contact information you have in your records or published on the official website. Peoples Bank will never ask for your social security number, user ID, account number, or password via email or phone when we call you.
  2. Be especially cautious when there’s any sense of urgency to the request, or if they tell you to keep it secret. Those are red flags. Know that electronic transfers send money in real time, and, in the case of fraud, those transfers can be impossible to reverse.
  3. Monitor your accounts regularly. This is easy to do online between mailed statements and you can also use online banking alerts to monitor transactions and banking activity. Always keep passwords, personal identification numbers and account codes secret. It’s a good idea to add multiple layers of security, including stronger passwords and password lock on your smartphone.
    To avoid mail and package theft, try to pick up your mail and packages promptly. Stock photo
To avoid mail and package theft, try to pick up your mail and packages promptly.

    To avoid mail and package theft, try to pick up your mail and packages promptly. Stock photo To avoid mail and package theft, try to pick up your mail and packages promptly.

  4. To avoid mail and package theft, try to pick up your mail and packages promptly. Outgoing mail can also be at risk. When sending cash or checks, always deposit envelopes in an official USPS collection box. This can prevent fraudsters from stealing your account information or “washing” your check to change the amount and intended recipient.
  5. If you are a victim of fraud, reach out to your financial institution. Not only can they discuss next steps and help secure your accounts, but they can also provide valuable tips to prevent it from happening again, and potentially assist in recovering funds, depending on the nature of the fraud.

To learn more about protecting yourself from fraud, please visit peoplesbank-wa.com/security.

Talk to us

The news and editorial staff of Sound Publishing, Inc. had no role in the preparation of this post. The views and opinions expressed in this sponsored post are those of the advertiser and do not reflect those of Sound Publishing, Inc.

Sound Publishing, Inc. does not accept liability for any loss or damages caused by the use of any products, nor do we endorse any products posted in our Marketplace.

More in Local Marketplace

Shaun Preder has run a number of small businesses in Snohomish County for over 30 years. Now he's mentoring his son through their business Ready Set Remove.
Best friend, father + son: Everett company redefines ‘family business’

Shaun Preder started demo and junk removal company to teach son business ethics, community spirit

At
How do successful entrepreneurs navigate a recession? Network, collaborate + rightsize !

The trend of coworking – where entrepreneurs, professionals and even students share… Continue reading

Providence Sports Medicine offers breakthrough, customized treatment plans to help people of all abilities prepare for sports, avoid injuries, and improve performance by using the newest technology in sports medicine.
Everett sports medicine doctor says, ‘Don’t wait until the pain is unbearable’

Dr. Andrew Gomez, a lead physician at the popular Providence Sports Medicine… Continue reading

Supportive team leaders are a key part of life at HopeWorks - photo curtesy of HopeWorks
Finding that perfect gift, while supporting the Everett community has never been easier!

HopeWorks has an easy holiday solution for everyone on your list!

Operation Military Family
Combatting Loneliness: Why Staying Connected is Vital to Your Health

Staying connected – and in relationships – could be the cure for health and stress issues

Arlington’s Hometown Holiday Festival has a wide variety of family-friendly events and attractions happening over the next few months.
Hometown Holiday Festival: celebrate the season in downtown Arlington

Celebration starts Nov. 26 with festivities throughout the season

One of the benefits of senior living at a community like Quail Park is the opportunity to enjoy activities you’re already passionate about, and to discover new ones with others who share your interests. Photo courtesy Quail Park of Lynnwood.
Building family in retirement, one friendship at a time

What are you thankful for this holiday season? As we welcome the… Continue reading

The City of Everett’s Wintertide events get underway this week and continue through early January.
Wintertide sets Everett a-twinkle with 6 weeks of seasonal celebrations

Some of Everett’s favorite holiday events are back in a big way… Continue reading

jireh
Need help with snow removal? Christmas lights? This Snohomish & King County team was made for winter!

As temperatures drop, the potential for snowfall here in the Pacific Northwest… Continue reading

At Wide Shoes Only their friendly, expert staff can help you find the perfect shoes for the comfort and health of your feet.
How to choose shoes to keep your feet healthy and happy!

These shoe-fitting experts in Edmonds and Renton really know their stuff

While parents often put aside their own concerns as they focus on the family, we do a better job at parenting with better mental health.
Mental health is a family affair: Support your family’s wellness – and your own

The last few years have been a challenge for everyone, especially parents… Continue reading

Well-child visits are also a good time to ensure children are up to date with all their vaccines and boosters.
A safe, happy holiday season begins now. Here’s why

Vaccines + boosters are key to keeping loved ones healthy this season