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Scams | Security | Safety

It is important to keep your hard-earned money safe. Whether you are concerned about online banking security or the traditional banking security threats, you'll find help here. We'll cover tips for safe online banking, ways to avoid identity theft, and more.

Bank Failures
Banks are the safest place to keep your cash. Nevertheless, bank failures happen from time to time. This page discusses bank failures in general and what you should expect if your bank goes under.

What to do in a Bank Robbery
Bank robbery is too common in the US. If youre ever in the bank when there is a bank robbery, you need to know how to handle yourself. A few simple tips will help you survive the incident and perhaps catch the robber.

Secrets of Great PIN Numbers
Personal identification numbers (PINs) are security features. Often referred to as PIN numbers (yes, it's redundant), PINs are important to keeping your money and your information safe. Picking a good PIN number and remembering it is easy if you use a few tricks.

Cashier's Check Fraud - How to Spot Cashier's Check Fraud
Cashiers check fraud is one of the most popular crimes in the internet age. Once thought to be safe, cashiers checks now require extra attention from sellers. Make sure you know all the red flags of cashiers check fraud so you can avoid expensive scams.

7 Steps to ATM Security
While ATM's have added some convenience to our lives, a few risks have also popped up. ATM's give criminals another opportunity to get at your money, and you should take steps to reduce your risk. Most of us can stay out of trouble with simple common sense, but you should periodically review some proven tactics. Follow these seven steps, and you'll improve your odds against the scamsters.

Skimming Scams
Don’t fall prey to ATM skimming scams. Scammers can quickly read a card’s information and use it to access your account fraudulently. With a small device, your card’s information gets stored so that criminals can easily get to it later. This page covers how the scams work and how you can avoid getting stung.

Safest Banks
Some people only want to work with the safest banks. Even with FDIC insurance, bank failures can be a hassle. By sticking to the safest banks, you reduce the likelihood of any headaches, delays, or name changes on your statements. How do you figure out which banks are the safest banks?

Dangers of Secured Credit Cards
Secured credit cards can help you build credit. However, they can be expensive and they are sometimes marketed by dishonest 'lenders'. Find out how to avoid common pitfalls when using a secured credit card.

Government Mandated Free Credit Report
U.S. laws require that consumers be entitled to a free credit report each year. Don't be tricked into signing up for a subscription service -- or worse, a phishing scam. Keep an eye on what's happening with your credit.

Deposits at ATMs - Risks
Deposits at ATMs can be convenient. However, you may run into trouble or have doubts about deposit ATMs. Are they safe? Do they have special rules? Learn about a few pitfalls of deposit ATMs so you can avoid unpleasant surprises.

Bad Banks
Bad banks are used to take risky assets from otherwise good banks. By using bad banks, banks can improve their financial strength and stay in business. Let's take a closer look at how bad banks work and some of their problems.

Your FDIC Coverage
FDIC coverage can be complex. It is important that you keep all of your money insured in case your bank goes under. You can use a variety of tricks and services to stay within FDIC coverage limits. Let’s review what you can do, and how to make sure you’re properly using FDIC coverage.

Is My Bank in Trouble?
Is your bank safe? Banks are supposed to be a safe place for cash. However, you may wonder if your money is really safe. How can you tell if a bank is in trouble? Let’s review how you can ensure that your money is in a safe place.

Failed Institution Protection
Sometimes financial institutions fail. If your money - a savings account, 401k, or investment account - is with a failed firm, you might wonder if it’s safe. Will you lose everything? For most people, the answer is no. Let’s look at the safeguards in place to protect your money when a financial institution fails.

Bank Runs
Bank runs occur when customers flock to the bank to grab their cash. They are caused by a fear that the bank will fail before customers can get their assets out. This page covers the basics of bank runs and why they happen.

Five Ways to Bank Safely at the ATM This Holiday Season
ATM convenience is essential for hectic shoppers to get quick cash this holiday season. While Americans make more than 11 billion ATM transactions annually, December is always the busiest month for ATM usage. When ATM transactions increase, so do fraud, ID theft and crime at the ATM.

Vishing Scams
What's a vishing scam? When you’re online and somebody asks you to “update your account information”, you probably don’t even think twice. It’s a scam 99% of the time. But what if you get a phone call?

SMiShing Scams
SMiShing scams are similar to phishing scams. You get a message from a bank or service provider asking you to do something. However, the SMiShing is really a message from a scam artist. While most people are familiar with email phishing scams, they're less skeptical when receiving SMiShing messages.

What to Do if Your Bank Is Destroyed - Preparation
We all think of a bank as the safest place for our money. What happens if the bank is destroyed (by natural disaster, an accident, or terrorism)? Hopefully your institution will be prepared for any problems. If not, you can at least put some safeguards in place to minimize your suffering.

5 Scariest Things for Your Money
Managing your money can be scary. If you’re not careful, you can wind up wasting your savings and energy in a fiendish nightmare. This page reveals the five scariest things out there for your money.

How to Detect, Prevent, and Recover From Phishing Scams
To protect yourself, you need to know exactly how phishing scams work and how to avoid becoming a victim. This article covers common tricks used in phishing scams, and gives you tips on detecting fraudulent emails. Also, we'll cover the steps that victims of phishing scams need to take.

Credit Card Fraud - Credit Card Phone Activation Scam
Credit card fraud is always advancing. Scammers have found a way around the requirement that you activate credit cards from your home phone number.

Hurricane Katrina Recovery Guide
This page covers banking-related topics for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Putting the pieces back together is already difficult. For many, getting access to cash and keeping up with the bills is an added challenge. Here you'll find suggested actions to get back on track.

Test Your Computer's Security
This site offers a wealth of information on securing your computer in order to minimize the threat of identity theft and unauthorized account access. Start with the ShieldsUp test, which will let you know where your computer's vulnerabilities are.

Qchex - What to do With Qchex Checks
Qchex is a service that allows people to send checks from their computer. If you received a Qchex check, you may be wondering if it’s good or if it’s a scam. This page will help you avoid Qchex fraud and avoid expensive mistakes.

ATM Scams - Hidden Cameras
See how this scam can capture your card and PIN number. Thieves use a hidden camera and card 'skimmer'. After reading this, you'll know what to look for.

Texas Ratio
The Texas Ratio is a way to measure how risky a bank is. The formula tells you how likely the bank is to be dragged down by bad loans. By looking at Texas Ratios, you may be able to spot banks that are more likely than others to fail. Let's look at the basics of the Texas Ratio.

Identity Theft
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has created this extensive resource to help you avoid identity theft. Perhaps more importantly, they give you step-by-step instructions on how to fix ID theft after it happens.

Definition of unbanked. The unbanked are people without bank accounts…

Money Transfer Jobs
You may be tempted to take a money transfer job for a few extra bucks. It’s easy work; all you have to do is forward payments from your bank account to somebody else. Unfortunately, money transfer jobs are often scams. Find out how money transfer businesses can cause problems for you.

How Does Your Bank Use Personal Information?
Bank privacy policies can offer tools to prevent identity theft. Learn about your financial privacy. Review top banks' privacy policies.

ATM Machines Use Biometrics to Combat Fraud
ATM machines are using new technology to verify identity with fingerprint scanners. Biometric ATMs use body scanning to prevent fraud.

What is the FDIC?
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) is a government agency that insures bank deposits and is involved with consumer protection.

What Does FDIC Stand For?
The FDIC is the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, an agency of the US Government. Find out more about the FDIC.

Is it Safe to Email Voided Checks? Alternative ways to Pay
A reader asks how to keep account information secure when somebody requests a voided check.

Safe Online Payment Methods
What's the safest way to pay for online purchases? Debit and credit cards, or a payment service like PayPal?

Is PayPal Safe?
PayPal is a popular platform for sending and receiving money, but is it safe?

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