CARTHAGE --- As the Holiday Season gets near, the last thing you want to worry about is someone trying to access your accounts. Representatives with Southwest Missouri Bank say the best way to protect yourself is to monitor your accounts.
"If you ever see anything that looks strange you should contact the bank immediately, the quicker the better," says jeanette Clem, SMB Exec. V.P. of Operations.
Clem says the bank will then take the appropiate actions to correct the issue.
"We can help you resolve a problem or explain what the transaction might be if you are not sure what it is," says Clem.
She recommends if you are traveling to a place you don't normally go, call your bank.
"Let them know where you are going and what dates you'll be traveling so we can make sure your card will work in those states there's not maybe some fraud problems going on," says Clem.
She also says this will make sure that your card will work for you, wherever you go.
Another suggestion is to use a credit card when you travel to pay for hotel rooms and rental cars.
"Those types of places will preauthorize a large amount of money, so they may use more money out of your checking account that you had planned," says Clem.
Another tip is to keep your personal information private.
"Be careful who you are giving your Social Security Number to, or your bank account or your debit card number. Don't do that to people over the phone that you didn't initiate the call especially, be careful about emails," she says.
She says any time the bank calls you, they will not ask you any personal information. The bank already has that information on file which means the person on the other end of the line is not who they say they are.
Clem adds fraud is prevelant all year round, but it also can rise during the Holiday Season. The last thing you can do to protect yourself from fraud is to monitor your credit report. You can do that by clicking here.