Financial fraud: how to avoid it?

Despite card fraud loss currently recorded as being at its lowest level in eleven years and online banking fraud figures also falling in 2011, a recent study showed that mobile and cheque fraud increased over the last year and also suggests that thieves are using new fraud techniques.

Learning how to avoid financial fraud can save you from a number of headaches, especially in the current economic crisis. Protecting your personal finances is easy if you know how.

Phone banking fraud is the fraud format that has increased the most. Thieves pretended to be working for banks or police representatives to dupe victims into giving their financial security details. NEVER give out your details over the phone or online.
Another technique involves posing as bank representatives calling to pick up your card. Again, this is something that banks would never do, so don’t believe it and of course, never hand your cards over.
Get used to shielding your PIN when you type it in a shop or at a cash machine, you never know who might be looking.
When you pay online, make sure that you do so in a secure website – those in which a locked padlock or unbroken key symbol is showing in your browser. Also, ensure that your computer has proper and updated anti-virus software installed.
Cheque fraud is also one of the formats that have raised the most. Because of this, never accept a cheque from someone you don’t really know or trust, especially if it is for a high value of money.
Regarding cheque security, get used to drawing a line through all unused space to help prevent the cheque being fraudulently altered.
Rip or shred all documents that contain financial information that could be misused.