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ROBERT SICILIANO is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds.

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In a perfect world there would be no sickness, nothing would ever break, everyone would get along, yummy food wouldn’t make you fat, and there’d be no crime. However, there are forces over which you and I have no control and we have to struggle simply to maintain balance.

In a perfect world, a bank wouldn’t need you or me to help detect fraud.

According to a survey of banks and credit unions, 23% learn of fraud through their own auditing processes. This means that more than three quarters of all bank fraud is detected either by customers or third parties. Just 32% of banks felt prepared to prevent online bank fraud.

That’s far from perfect, which means you, the customer, must pay close attention to your accounts.

Check your online statements frequently. I no longer receive paper statements and I don’t wait for my monthly online statement, either. Once a week, I check each individual account online. Check your investment accounts, credit cards, checking and savings account, and any other account that holds your money or grants you credit.

Create a bookmarks folder with links to all your accounts and set a consistent time to check each account, every week. Monday mornings, Wednesday afternoons, or Friday afternoons work for me.

Sign up for Mint. This service helps track activity on your bank and credit card accounts and sends notifications of any transactions involving any linked account.

The moment you spot a discrepancy, contact the institution and remedy the issue. Remember, as accommodating as a lender may be, they will often put up a fight before crediting your account for any losses. Persistence pays off.

Robert Siciliano, personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto, discusses identity theft in front of the National Speakers Association. Disclosures

 

About the Author
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.

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