Protect Your Money and Your Information

The pandemic has accelerated identity theft – and the impact on regular people is significant. In fact, Americans have lost more than $382 million to scams related to stimulus checks and unemployment benefits. Even worse, Black and Latino consumers are more likely to be victims of fraud than their white counterparts. That’s why it’s crucial to recognize activity designed to steal your hard-earned money.

We sat down with Maria Behun, VP, Community Manager from the Dover Chase branch at 1 E. Clinton Street, to discuss tips and best practices for securing a better financial future.

The Positive Community: What should consumers be looking for when it comes to scammers?

Maria Behun: Phishing is the fancy name for emails pretending to be from reputable companies – including banks. They’re really from criminals who are trying to get your personal information, such as passwords and credit card numbers. So, be very careful about clicking on a link in an email; instead go directly to the company’s website. And don’t click on attachments unless you’re sure it’s from someone you know and trust.

The Positive Community: Are there specific signs to look for?

Maria Behun: Yes, here are a couple of surefire ones:

Scammers will often tell you there is a problem or a prize. They might say you are in trouble with the government, you owe money, or someone in your family has an emergency. After setting up the problem or prize, scammers will pressure you to act immediately. No legitimate business or government agency will pressure you in this way or ask for your personal information over the phone or email.

The Positive Community: How can consumers protect their money and their information?

Maria Behun: Here are few best practices:

• Create a separate password for each financial institution. This provides an additional level of protection in case there is an issue at one institution.

• Monitor your accounts. Log into your accounts frequently – even daily – through online banking or on your mobile banking app to monitor transactions and your account balance. Look for transactions you don’t recognize and check your monthly statements. If there’s an issue, contact your bank right away.

• Check your credit report. At least once a year, read through your credit reports carefully. You can request a free annual credit report from each of the three national credit reporting agencies, even if you don’t suspect any unauthorized activity on your account Visit www.annualcreditreport.com.

The Positive Community: How does Chase protect customers from fraud?

Maria Behun: We see it as a partnership; we help protect your accounts and information, and so do you. We monitor all of our accounts around the clock, including using security measures you can’t see.

Also, if we find or you flag a transaction that you didn’t authorize, we offer Zero Liability Protection, meaning you won’t be held responsible for it.

Stop by the Dover Chase branch at 1 E. Clinton Street to learn more about JPMorgan Chase’s commitment to customer security through our fraud prevention and protection tools. I look forward to working with you. Sponsored content from:

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