Giving your financial security a checkup

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) -- As a financial institution, it’s our job to educate consumers about fraud because it comes in all shapes and sizes. Being aware of the signs of fraud will protect you and your money.

A common type of fraud is check-related fraud. As a consumer, ask yourself the following questions. If you answer “yes” to any of them, you may have been a victim of fraud.

  • Was the check from an item that was sold on the internet?
  • Was the amount for more than the selling price?
  • Was the check sent via overnight delivery (i.e. FedEx)?
  • Was the check drawn on a business or individual account different than the person buying the item?
  • Were you instructed to wire or send money as soon as possible to another city or country?
  • Has the communication with the person only been through email?
  • Did the email communication start in response to a job offer?
  • To protect yourself, do additional research into the origin of the check.

    Other ways fraudsters will attempt to get money or personal information from you is over the phone, via email or online. Be aware of who you are dealing with. Never give out your information through these channels unless you know who you’re communicating with. But even when you believe you know who you’re dealing with, look for clues that may indicate otherwise. Clues like this may include:

  • a typo in the subject line, body of the email or URL
  • extra letters or numbers in the URL you’re visiting or transposed letters/numbers
  • grammatically incorrect text
  • threats against you or your loved ones if you don’t comply with their request
  • pressure to complete a transaction
  • requests for fees
  • untraceable payment methods
  • So how can you protect yourself from fraud?

  • Keep up to date on the latest scams from sources like the BBB or FBI
  • Keep your personal information confidential; don’t give out information over the phone, through email or online unless you know who you’re communicating with
  • Regularly change your passwords and PIN numbers
  • Monitor your credit reports; this is one place where you can quickly spot unauthorized activity
  • Monitor your bank accounts
  • Shred unnecessary documents
  • Report fraud. This helps catch fraudsters, may help you recuperate your losses and prevents fraudsters from selling your information
  • Remember, if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. Anyone can be a victim of fraud and knowing the warning signs can keep your personal information and money safe. Fraud is preventable if you know the warning signs.