Avoiding scams in the age of the Internet | TheUnion.com

Avoiding scams in the age of the Internet

The Union staff

With the age of Internet and easier access to phishing and scams, Wells Fargo spokeswoman Julie Campbell has tips to avoid such issues.

Campbell advises that computer operating systems are updated to ensure the highest level of protection, including regular anti-virus software updates.

Online banking passwords should also be changed regularly and user-names and passwords should differ from those used on other websites.

Only official mobile banking apps from reputable sources should be downloaded and used.

If you have suspicions about the authenticity of a mobile banking app, web-enabled mobile phone users can bookmark and visit the company's official mobile banking site.

Bank users are also advised to go paperless and monitor activity, Campbell said, citing a study by Javelin Strategy & Research, which shows fraudsters continue to use traditional methods to gather information, including paper mail that may contain account numbers or other confidential information.

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Bank users can sign up for alerts to keep a close watch on finances and quickly spot suspicious activity, from low-balance alerts to real-time card-usage alerts.

Campbell recommends a credit report review at least once a year to check for any suspicious or unauthorized activity and advises that people use caution and be careful what information is disclosed.

If you're suspicious about a request for your personal information that you've received through an email, text message, website, by mail or phone, first verify the request.

Use a legitimate source to confirm the request by calling the number listed on the company's website, billing statement or on the back of the debit or credit card.

Never share your mother's maiden name, Social Security number, bank account numbers or account user-names and passwords and keep your phone number and home address private so they can't be collected.

Store a copy of your personal and financial information in a secure location: Take a moment to take inventory or photocopy the personal and financial information you carry in your purse or wallet, including items such as your driver's license and credit cards. Store this list in a secure location to help you know whom to contact if your wallet or purse is ever lost or stolen.

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