Financial fraud is when someone steals your money or your assets through deception, theft, or misleading practices. Thefts occur through debit card fraud, bank account takeovers, email scams, business scams. To protect yourself and your funds, read these suggestions from Sturgis Bank.
Debit Card Fraud
If a thief gains access to your debit card or PIN, you’ll see unauthorized transactions on your account. The most effective way to monitor your account and catch fraud early is to sign up for online banking through Sturgis Bank. You can also use mobile banking to check recent activity on your account and CardValet with Sturgis Bank for debit card alerts. Always review your monthly statements to ensure your account balance matches your recorded transactions.
If you lose your card or it’s stolen, call the number listed on the back of your card - (269)-651-9345. We’ll close down your card and provide next steps to get a replacement card with a new number. Be sure to update any automatic payments with your new numbers.
Scams that occur through email include the following:
- Spam emails: Unsolicited outreach from thieves who may present themselves as sellers of a product or service. When you place an order, the thief takes your money without delivering the promised purchase. We recommend installing SPAM filters on your laptop or computer to minimize fraud.
- Phishing emails: Communications designed to trick you into sharing personal information like account numbers, passwords, or other credentials by presenting as a legitimate company. Before responding to a request for information, check the sender’s domain (the part of the address after the @ symbol). If you’re still unsure, contact the actual company directly via email or phone.
- Spoofing emails are a type of phishing fraud that uses a forged email address to look like a legitimate company. These are difficult to detect, but if you check the body of the email for spelling or grammatical errors, you can sometimes spot fraud.
Business or FTC Scams
Business-related fraud can take many forms, from free trial offers that don’t tell you how to cancel, to advance loans with unusually generous terms. Fraudulent charities and bogus work-from-home companies are other types of FTC scams. In addition to maintaining a healthy skepticism about offers that seem too good to be true, you can protect yourself from business scams by following a few basic guidelines from Sturgis Bank:
- Research companies that are making offers before sending any money or making any agreements.
- Use a form of payment with fraud protection like a credit card. Don’t wire money, purchase gift cards, or pay upfront.
- Watch out for scams that ask you to deposit a check and wire money back. Discovering a check is fraudulent can take time, and you’ll be responsible for repaying the bank.
- Sign up for free scam alerts through www.ftc.gov/scams, so you’re aware of new fraud attempts.