Have you ever been scammed or been a victim of fraud? According to a recent study, approximately 39 million Americans were victims last year. There are many different types of fraud such as account fraud, wire fraud, ACH fraud, ATM fraud, email fraud, mail fraud, phishing and vishing scams. In a lot of cases, it’s impossible to know who the fraudsters are or where they are located. It is imperative that you take precautions to safeguard yourself. Here are some tips to help ensure that you are better protected and better equipped to mitigate your risks.
- Be diligent monitoring account activity daily to ensure you know what is happening with your account.
- Do not open an email or attachment from an unknown source. Misspellings or incomplete sentences are signs that an email might be fraudulent. Keep your computers updated, run anti-virus software from a known and trusted source. Don’t share passwords or allow someone remote access to your computer. Do not answer emails or call the number provided in the email from someone you don’t know.
- Maintain and secure financial records. A small ACH debit amount posted to your account could be a test to see if this is a valid account number and may be fraud. Contact your bank immediately to verify and potentially stop a larger ACH debit from occurring. Use your debit card with the chip and pin.
- Beware of scams. If you have a question call us or our service center 877.723.5571. Don’t fall victim to a scammer pressuring you for information, or to do something against your will. If it sounds too good to be true, assume it’s too good to be true so you don’t become a victim!
- Beware of skimming devices. Fraudsters can skim your information from ATMs or anywhere you swipe your card to make a payment such as a gas pump. Skimming devices can be placed on or near the ATM and include thin keypad overlays, cameras and a device that goes over the card reader. Often, these are not easily identified. If you see something suspicious, do not proceed and report your concern to the police. In addition, if it is a Univest ATM, call 877.723.5571 immediately.
- Wire transfers should always request your wet signature or a pin process. If you mail your bills, consider taking them to the post office or setting up bill pay through our online banking system.
Business owners need to be aware of embezzlement. Whether you own a small business or a large corporation, embezzlement can happen to you. It is imperative to stay involved with the finances and management of your books. In some cases, larger companies have the structure of a dual control system which provides some level of protection from embezzlement. Small businesses, however, do not necessarily have the personnel to provide this dual control structure or have the time to be involved with their finances on a regular basis. A best practice is to balance your time reviewing your books along with the other facets or your business.
Here are a few options businesses may want to consider:
Positive Pay is a great option for businesses. This service identifies the checks you write as they are presented to the bank.
Checking, Savings and Money Market Accounts – working together can protect your assets.
Bill Pay is a great option for you to make your payments and avoid mail fraud.
E-Statements are a great way to access your account information safely. Not having your statement sent through the mail can help prevent someone from stealing your information from your mailbox.
Keep in mind that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t become fraud’s next victim! At Univest, we’re dedicated to protecting you and your accounts. Call us at 877-723-5571 so we can help you set up online or mobile banking for your account or answer any questions.
Univest Bank and Trust Co. is Member FDIC