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Five Ways to Avoid Identity Fraud

While neural-network monitoring like FICO® Falcon® Fraud Manager certainly helps minimize risk, it’s always wise for you to be proactive in protecting yourself.

  1. Contact your financial institution This is as much for cardholder convenience as safety. If your institution is unaware you’re traveling to Rome, for example, they may freeze your account when a purchase is made there. Share as much detail as possible — dates, cities, how much you might spend, and how you can be reached.
  2. Clean out your wallet Carrying a lot of credit and debit cards on vacation only increases the likelihood that one of them will become lost or stolen. Take only what you need, and make sure your limits are high enough to cover all expenses.
  3. Make a stop at the copy machine Copy or scan the front and back of each card you plan to take. Be sure your account number and toll-free customer service number are legible (if you're traveling internationally, make sure you have appropriate phone numbers). Store the information somewhere other than where your card is, such as a hotel safe.
  4. Keep an eye on your cards Food servers and store clerks can steal card information easily with a skimming device, so don’t let your cards out of sight. If that’s not possible, consider paying with cash. And remember, it’s perfectly OK to let your instincts guide you. If something seems fishy, go somewhere else.
  5. Monitor your account frequently Checking your account balance is a great way to combat fraud.

Adapted from an article by Keith Pott, Account Executive SHAZAM, Inc.