When was the last time you looked at your bank statement? If the answer is a week, then it is probably too long. Be it in the form of a postal letter or an e-statement, the bank statement contains vital information which can help us to avoid payment fraud.
One of the ways to reduce the incidence of fraud is by being proactive and cultivating safe payments card habits ourselves. These printed statements (or, increasingly, scrollable online transaction histories) hold the key to detecting card fraud. Scrutinized closely, they can reveal whether a transaction was authorized or not, leading us to identifying fraud early in its course. Below are the top three safety practices to pick out fraud and the things you should look out for when eyeing your statement:
#1: Sign up for mobile alerts
On the move a lot and want to keep track of your transactions? Many banks offer the option of mobile notification alerts whenever you perform transactions. Easily customizable, these alerts can be helpful in double confirming your expensive purchases. Get on board by registering your mobile number for this service with your bank.
#2: Take a second look
When fraudsters withdraw small amounts of money over long periods of time, they often tend to escape our notice. Train your eye to pick out these charges on your transaction slips when you check them, and confirm that they were indeed authorized by you.
#3: Be prompt, practice due diligence
Make a habit of reviewing your bank statements. Most banks issue monthly e-statements that are delivered straight to your inbox, which lets you scan them on the fly. If you see any suspicious activities, report them swiftly to your bank. They have got your back covered with liability protection in case of any faulty or fraudulent charges.
Bank statements can be our ally in a number of things – increasingly, they are even used as proofs of purchase and online transfers. Amongst these advantages are their roles as portable fact-checkers, allowing us to monitor our purchases in real-time and keep our bank accounts fraud-free. It is ultimately up to us to practice easily adoptable habits to ensure a smooth sailing payments experience.