FINANCIAL LITERACY at republic bank

Safeguard Your Finances

Safeguard Your Finances

Fraud prevention is a responsibility we all share.

In an increasingly connected world, safeguarding your finances and information is crucial. Scammers and fraudsters are constantly devising new tactics to exploit unsuspecting individuals.

You have the power to protect yourself. Read our practical tips and strategies to stay one step ahead.1

Protecting Yourself Against Scams

In an increasingly interconnected world, safeguarding your finances and personal information is crucial. Scammers and fraudsters are constantly devising new tactics to exploit unsuspecting individuals. As a consumer, you have the power to protect yourself. Here are practical steps to stay one step ahead of scams.

Stay Informed

Knowledge is your best defense. Educate yourself about common scams and fraud techniques. Be aware of phishing emails, unsolicited phone calls, and suspicious links. Remember that legitimate organizations will never ask for sensitive information via email or phone.

Guard Your Personal Information
  • Passwords: Create strong, unique passwords for your online accounts. Avoid using easily guessable information like birthdays or common words.
  • Social Security Numbers: Never share your Social Security number unless absolutely necessary. Legitimate organizations will rarely ask for it over the phone or via email.
  • Account Numbers: Be cautious when providing account numbers or credit card details. Verify the legitimacy of the request before sharing sensitive information.
Verify Before You Trust
  • Prize Scams: If you’re told you’ve won a prize but need to pay fees or taxes upfront, it’s likely a scam. Legitimate prizes don’t come with strings attached.
  • Sales Pitches: Take your time after hearing a sales pitch. Compare prices, research the product or service, and avoid making impulse decisions.
  • Charitable Donations: Before donating to a charity, verify its legitimacy. Scammers often impersonate well-known organizations during disasters or emergencies.
Monitor Your Accounts Regularly
  • Bank Statements: Review your bank and credit card statements regularly. Report any unauthorized transactions or suspicious activity immediately.
  • Use Online and Mobile Banking: For the most up-to-date access to your accounts, leverage the online and mobile banking tools made available by your financial institution. Many of them allow you to set up alerts and notifications for account balances, particular transactions, debit card activity, and more.
  • Credit Reports: Obtain free credit reports, at least annually, to check for any suspicious activity. Many financial institutions have credit score monitoring solutions embedded in their online and/or mobile banking solutions.
Beware of Robocalls
  • Robocalls: Robocalls are on the rise. Limit the number of unwanted calls you receive by registering your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Block suspicious numbers on your phone as appropriate.
Use Two-Factor Authentication (2FA)
  • 2FA: Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security by requiring a second form of verification (such as a text message or authentication app) in addition to your ID and password.
Report Suspicious Activity
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Report scams and fraud to the FTC. They use consumer reports to investigate and sometimes pursue legal action against fraudsters and fraudulent practices.
  • Local Authorities: If you encounter fraud at the local level, contact your state’s attorney general office or local law enforcement for additional fraud prevention assistance.
Trust Your Instincts
  • Be Aware: If something feels off, trust your instincts. Scammers often create urgency or fear to pressure victims. Always take a step back and evaluate the situation.

Remember, fraud prevention is a responsibility we all share, and you are your own best advocate. By staying informed, protecting your personal information, and being vigilant, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to scams and fraud. Share this knowledge with family and friends to help create a safer environment for everyone.

Protecting Your Business Against Scams

Much of the consumer-related information shared above applies to you and your employees. However, safeguarding your company from scams and fraudulent activity brings with it some additional challenges and things to keep in mind.

Train Your Employees

Your first line of defense is an informed staff. Educate your employees about common scams and fraud techniques. Some points to cover:

  • Training: Educate your team about common scams, phishing emails, and social engineering tactics. Encourage them to stay alert and report any suspicious activity.
  • Email Security: Train employees not to send passwords or sensitive information via email, even if the email appears to come from a manager or anyone else. Encourage them to verify requests for sensitive data.
  • Scam Awareness: Explain how scams happen and encourage open communication among coworkers. If someone suspects s scam, they should feel comfortable discussing it with their colleagues.
Employee Background Checks
  • Background Checks: Conduct thorough background checks on employees, especially those handling sensitive information. Verify their credentials and history.
Strengthen Your Computer Systems
  • Firewalls and VPN: Implement strong firewalls and use secure Virtual Private Networks (VPN) to prevent unauthorized access to your systems.
  • Software: Regularly update software and ensure proper system configurations. Outdated software can be vulnerable to attacks.
  • Multi-Factor Authentication: Leverage multi-factor authentication (MFA) to enhance login security. With MFA, additional verification steps beyond a username and password are required.
Separate Personal and Business Accounts
  • Open Separate Accounts: Create separate bank and credit card accounts for your business and personal finances. This separation ensures that any fraudulent activity doesn’t directly impact your personal assets and vice-versa.
  • Maintain Separate Accounts: By maintaining separate accounts, you can easily track business-related transactions separate and apart from your personal transactions, being sure to promptly identify and report any irregularities.
Verify Invoices and Payments
  • Clear Procedures: Ensure that procedures for approving purchases and invoices are well-defined. Ask your staff to scrutinize all invoices closely.
  • Payment Methods: Pay attention to how someone requests payment. If anyone demands payment via wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or gift cards, treat it as a red flag. Scammers often use these methods to avoid traceability.
Spot Tech-Related Scams
  • Caller ID Caution: Scammers frequently fake their phone numbers. Don’t blindly trust caller ID. Verify the legitimacy of unexpected text messages or emails.
  • Avoid Clicking Links: Be cautious when receiving unsolicited emails or texts. Refrain from clicking on links, opening attachments, or downloading files. These actions can introduce malware into your network or lead to financial losses.
  • Social Media Vigilance: Scammers may hack into social media accounts of people you know, sending you seemingly genuine messages. Always verify the authenticity of such communications.
Know Who You’re Dealing With
  • Research New Companies: Before doing business with a new company, search their name online with terms like “scam” or “complaint.” Read reviews and seek recommendations from trusted sources.
Report Suspicious Activity
  • Federal Trade Commission (FTC): Report scams and fraud to the FTC. They use consumer reports to investigate and sometimes pursue legal action against fraudsters and fraudulent practices.
  • Local Authorities: If you encounter fraud at the local level, contact your state’s attorney general office or local law enforcement for additional fraud prevention assistance.
Trust Your Instincts
  • Be Aware: If something feels off, trust your instincts. Scammers often create urgency or fear to pressure victims. Always take a step back and evaluate the situation.

Remember, fraud prevention is a responsibility we all share. Vigilance and proactive measures are your best allies in the fight against scams and fraud. By training your employees, verifying transactions, staying informed, and reporting suspicious activity, you can safeguard your business and maintain its integrity.

It's about more than debits and credits.

At Republic Bank, it’s important to us to provide you with the resources you need to have a bright financial future.

Explore our posts and learn more about credit score myths, savings strategies, the benefits of smaller local banks, and more.

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1Our financial literacy content is informational only and does not guarantee scam or fraud prevention.

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