CINCINNATI—The rise of online and mobile banking and electronic financial transactions have made life easier for consumers. However, without proper security measures, they can put you at risk for fraud and scams. Here are a few easy actions you can take to protect yourself this holiday season and beyond.
Set up alerts for credit card monitoring
Set up alerts through your credit card (either via an app or online account) so you are made aware if suspicious activity is detected on your account. If you did not make a flagged transaction, some providers can shut down the account for your protection and send you new cards.
If you notice a charge that you did not make, contact your bank or credit card provider immediately.
Beware of phishing
Be on the lookout when it comes to deals and offers coming to your inbox. Always exercise caution, even with emails that appear to be from legitimate senders. Typos and misspelled words are common signs that an email could be a scam. Be cautious clicking on links or attachments that look suspicious; doing so may expose your computer or device to malware, which could be used to steal or "phish" for information, such as usernames, passwords and card information.
Check out additional information and phishing tips from Fifth Third
Watch out for text and phone scams
The "bad guys" continuously look for new ways to scam people via text or phone. Fake text messages and phone call scams are pervasive. Commonly, the text or call claims to be from your bank or a different bank. Below are some tips to help avoid these types of scams:
- Be suspicious if you get a call or text asking for personal information such as account numbers or your Social Security Number. Fifth Third will never ask for this information via text or call.
- Be cautious if the person calling or texting has an urgent tone or if you are directed to an automated voice response asking you to validate information.
- Be cautious about clicking links within text messages.
- Never provide personal information over the phone or via text unless you initiated the call to a verified bank phone number.
Be cautious with online marketplaces
Buying and selling goods through social media and online marketplaces has become increasingly popular, however both buyers and sellers should practice caution.
Beware of buyers or sellers who insist on communicating or receiving payments via a cash app outside of the selling platform’s official channels. One way to avoid paying for an item that doesn’t exist is to do the deals locally or meet face-to-face in a safe public setting. And, if you can use a credit card for payment, you protect yourself since cards have fraud protection that many external financial apps do not offer.
Monitor your credit
Keeping close tabs on your credit report allows you to know if your personal information is being used for fraudulent activity. For instance, your credit report reveals inquiries made about your creditworthiness as well as accounts opened in your name. Checking in at least once a year helps ensure that you’ll spot suspicious activity relatively early. You can receive free copies of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting bureaus one time per year, as well as freecreditreport.com.
Identity theft protection is another important resource to protect your credit. Fifth Third offers its customers Identity Alert1, which provides 24/7 protection against all the main types of identity fraud and includes credit monitoring.
Secure your information
The holiday season is a good time to revisit your security pins and passwords, not only for your financial accounts, but also any account or profile page containing your card or banking information. Stay away from simple passwords that hackers could easily figure out, such as ones that use your name or a number sequence. Use a combination of numbers, symbols and uppercase and lowercase letters.
Some sites may offer the ability to set up a two-step authentication process, which helps to confirm your identity when visiting from an unrecognized device or when attempting to recover lost usernames and passwords. You should use this feature where available. Keep your desktop and mobile devices updated with the most current software and security updates. And take advantage of setting up mobile alerts that will notify you of transactions and suspicious activities.
In addition to credit monitoring, Fifth Third’s Identity Alert also allows customers to go a step further by registering social security numbers and account numbers, so they can be monitored on the dark web.
Use secure sites
Before entering your card information to make an online purchase, make sure the page you’re submitting your order through is secure. Secured web addresses will begin with "HTTPS" rather than "HTTP," and will often have an icon that looks like a padlock near the address bar. Avoid submitting financial information while connected to a public Wi-Fi service.
For additional ways to protect yourself, visit Fifth Third’s Privacy & Security page on 53.com.
About Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third is a bank that’s as long on innovation as it is on history. Since 1858, we’ve been helping individuals, families, businesses and communities grow through smart financial services that improve lives. Our list of firsts is extensive, and it’s one that continues to expand as we explore the intersection of tech-driven innovation, dedicated people and focused community impact. Fifth Third is one of the few U.S.-based banks to have been named among Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies® for several years. With a commitment to taking care of our customers, employees, communities and shareholders, our goal is not only to be the nation’s highest performing regional bank, but to be the bank people most value and trust.
Fifth Third Bank, National Association is a federally chartered institution. Fifth Third Bancorp is the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank and its common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB." Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Member FDIC.