Protect Yourself From Fraud This Holiday SeasonRelease Date: 2015-12-03
The Long Beach Police Department would like to again remind consumers to take precautions to avoid becoming a fraud statistic this holiday season.
During this time of the year, credit and debit cards are certain to be one of the most commonly used forms of payment. With the surge of reported domestic and international fraud schemes, including unsolicited, pervasive telephone calls and scams that have flourished throughout the Southern California region, consumers are urged to take extra precautions to secure their personal information.
Here are a few prevention tips to help minimize your risk:
• Monitor your ATM/debit card transactions. Card “skimming” is a process where a device is used to capture account and personal information encoded on magnetic strips, which has become pervasive throughout the country.
• When entering your “PIN” number, shield the keypad with your other hand to prevent exposure to others or recordable devices
• Make certain the ATM card reader is securely attached to the machine. If unsecured, alert the financial institution.
• Be vigilant in monitoring your account(s) online or by telephone
• Track and review all of your bank and credit card statements for irregular activity
• Use the credit card feature at the gas pumps; your zip code, not PIN, is required
• Never disclose to anyone over the telephone or online, your social security number, PIN number, bank account numbers or date of birth
• Do not wire money to anyone you do not know
• Do not respond to e-mails requesting you to “confirm,” “update,” or “provide” account information
• Do not imprint social security or driver license numbers on your personal checks
• Request from the credit reporting agencies (Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian) a copy of your “Consumer Credit Profile” Report and review for unusual activity. You may obtain a copy at “www.annualcreditreport.com.”
• Use a “cross-shredder” to destroy sensitive documents including bank records and promotional “pre-approved” credit card applications
To learn more about protecting yourself from fraud, contact the Long Beach Police Department Financial Crimes Section at (562) 570-7330.
This information is preliminary and is intended for early information use rather than being a formal investigative report.