FBI Portland
Portland Media Office
(503) 460-8099
June 7, 2022

FBI Oregon Tech Tuesday: Building a Digital Defense to Protect Your Wallet

Welcome to this week’s FBI Portland Tech Tuesday segment, I’m Dixon Land with the FBI. Today’s Topic: Protecting Your Wallet.

It’s happened to a lot of us—you get that text or phone call from your bank and apparently, you’ve just been on a shopping spree at stores on the other side of the country. What’s more—it looks like you’re not stopping anytime soon.

It’s time to freeze the account. And in that situation, the Federal Trade Commission says it’s best to immediately call your bank and report the loss or theft if you notice the transactions before the bank does.

If you lose your card, or it’s stolen—it’s also best to call the card issuer right away. You should also send a letter to the card issuer and include important details such as your account number and when you noticed your card was missing, the FTC says.

Of course, an ounce of prevention is always worth a pound of cure, so make sure to keep a close eye on your accounts online—make sure to only provide the card information to reputable sources and businesses, and be careful of online scams. Set up fraud and spending alerts on your accounts, so you’ll be notified when something doesn’t look right, and keep a watchful eye on your bank statements and dispute unauthorized charges.

You should also keep a close eye on your credit. Through the big three credit bureaus—you can check and monitor your credit score. Remember, the Fair Credit Report Act requires that credit bureaus give you a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months, as well as fix any mistakes or errors in the information they’ve collected about you.

Remember to protect all your financial information by doing the following things: keep any financial documents or receipts in a safe place—and if you do dispose of them, use a shredder. Only carry the cards you’ll need in your wallet and NEVER write the pin or passwords for these cards on the actual card itself.

When accessing your financial accounts online, set up two-factor authentication—an additional layer of protection against scammers. Two factor can be as simple as having the account send a text to your phone with a passcode or a scan of your fingerprint or face.

And remember, if you are a victim of fraud, report it immediately to your bank. Then, report to the FTC or the FBI at reportfraud.ftc.gov or at ic3.gov.