Authorities are reminding the public to take precautions against fraud this holiday season, as reports have identified a surge in domestic and international fraud schemes, according to the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD).
Officials encourage consumers to take extra measures to secure personal information against the fraud schemes, which include unsolicited, pervasive telephone calls and scams.
The LBPD has provided the following prevention tips to minimize your risk:
- Monitor your ATM/debit card transactions. Card “skimming” is a process where a device is used to capture account and personal information encoded on magnetic strips, which has become pervasive throughout the country.
- When entering your “PIN” number, shield the keypad with your other hand to prevent exposure to others or recordable devices
- Make certain the ATM card reader is securely attached to the machine. If unsecured, alert the financial institution.
- Be vigilant in monitoring your account(s) online or by telephone
- Track and review all of your bank and credit card statements for irregular activity
- Use the credit card feature at the gas pumps; your zip code, not PIN, is required
- Never disclose to anyone over the telephone or online, your social security number, PIN number, bank account numbers or date of birth
- Do not wire money to anyone you do not know
- Do not respond to emails requesting you to “confirm,” “update,” or “provide” account information
- Do not imprint social security or driver’s license numbers on your personal checks
- Request from the credit reporting agencies (Trans Union, Equifax, and Experian) a copy of your “Consumer Credit Profile” Report and review for unusual activity. You may obtain a copy at “www.annualcreditreport.com.”
- Use a “cross-shredder” to destroy sensitive documents including bank records and promotional “pre-approved” credit card applications
To learn more about protecting yourself from fraud, contact the Long Beach Police Department Financial Crimes Section at 562.570.7330.
Stephanie Rivera covers immigration and the north, west and central parts of Long Beach. Reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter at @StephRivera88.
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