As one parent shared with the group: "My family's debit cards and credit cards have been hacked multiple times in the last several weeks as well as several of my co workers. I'm wondering if others in the Park Slope community are also experiencing an uptick of fraud. Wondering if something is going on in the neighborhood or if it something else."
1. Keep watch of your Statements. Check regularly for unfamiliar activity (check weekly).
2. Set up account alerts if it is an option with your bank or credit card company.
3. Sign the back of your card. Even some companies have a photo option for the front of the card.
4. Shred all documents that have account numbers before disposing.
5. Never give out a credit card number to an un-solicited source unless you are the one that has initiated the transaction.
6. When traveling copy all of the important documents (front and back) that you have with you and keep them in a safe separate spot (hotel safe) in case your items are stolen. That way you can contact your credit card companies and deactivate all accounts.
7. Use only bank ATM’s. Be on the look out for suspicious credit/debit card devices such as extra external devices.
8. Use your card as credit as much as possible. Try not to use your PIN number as using your card as debit has a higher risk for fraud.
9. When shopping online make sure you use an established company that you can easily contact if there are any issues. print online receipts for your records.
10. Make sure all your electronic devices are up to date and that you are purchasing on a secure browser.
11. Do not give your kids access or passwords unless they understand their value. Teach them when and how to share information.
12. Change your password regularly (use letters, numbers and caps) and make sure it is different from your other online accounts (such as Amazon or eBay).
13. Use “uncrackable” password. Don’t use old phone numbers, kid or pet birthdays, or favorite sports teams – thieves can get that from social media or the internet in general.
Further reading from around the wen on how to keep your credit cards safe:
Credit card safety tips: Seven keys to credit card protection via Bank of America