It’s Time for Your 2013 Anti-Fraud Check Up!

by J_Pratt


You’ve opened all the presents, finished off all the holiday goodies and bid farewell to 2012. Hello 2013! Have you updated your fraud defenses for the New Year? Well, let’s take a look…

First, let’s check your online situation….

  • Are your security programs, such as anti-virus, anti-phishing, and anti-spyware/malware software programs up to date? That means for all your devices including your smartphones and tablets.
  • Do all your Internet accounts have strong passwords in place? Passwords should be at least 8 characters long, when possible, and include at least 1 upper case letter, 1 lower case letter, 1 number and 1 symbol?
  • Do all your devices have passcodes in place?   Protect all your devices, including your smartphone and eReaders.  Most of the newer eReaders allow you to password-protect the Internet connection feature.
  • Have you checked your (and your kids’) social networking profiles? Be sure they don’t include any personally identifiable information (e.g., birth date, address, your work or school schedule) and, you have restricted who has access to your profiles to just those people you know well and trust.

Now, let’s see about your financial account controls….

  • Are you signed up for customer alerts on all your bank accounts, so you will be notified by email or text message for any unusual transactions?
  • Are you reviewing your checking and credit card accounts online at least once a week to catch any unauthorized transactions as soon as possible?
  • Have you checked your credit report in the last 4 months? Have you put it on your calendar to ask for a free annual credit report from each of the 3 credit bureaus, a different one every 4 months?
  • Do you use online bill payment services to reduce exposing your personal and bank information from writing checks?

How about your paper practices?

  • Do you clean out your wallet or purse at least once a week to make sure you aren’t unnecessarily carrying around paper that contains personal information, including health-care cards and statements that can expose you to medical as well as financial identity theft?
  • Are you signed up to receive your monthly statements online instead of paper statements in the mail?
  • Do you regularly shred all unneeded papers that contain personal information?

Well, congratulations! It looks like you made progress improving your fraud defenses last year! We hope you’ll continue down this path with us, learning and putting into practice new techniques for protecting you and those you love from preventable fraud exposure. If you haven’t done so yet, please be sure to join our mail list so you start receiving the monthly FraudAvengers newsletter. We look forward to another year of sharing fraud prevention information and wish you a happy, healthy and safe new year!


FPF2A co-founder & FraudAvengers Director of Business Development Jodi Pratt is a 35-year veteran of the financial services industry. A pioneer in the area of fraud management, Jodi has spent the last 20 years creating, developing and implementing fraud solutions. She currently provides consulting and expert witness services to businesses via Jodi Pratt and Associates.