NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County


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Pay/Buy/Bank Online Banking

Pay/Buy/Bank Online Banking

            Online banking, bill paying and shopping are modern conveniences that more and more Americans are utilizing.  And most of the time, high-tech transactions are completed quickly and without a glitch. However, just as with other transactions, in a small percentage of cases something goes wrong. Which why you, as a smart consumer, need to take precautions against theft and errors.

            Internet thieves are continually devising new and more sophisticated ways to trick consumers into sending money or into revealing information that can be used to commit fraud. The Federal Deposit Insurance Commission reminds us of ways to be safe online.

 - If you bank online, frequently check your deposit accounts and lines of credit to spot and report errors or fraudulent transactions, just as you should with traditional banking.  The sooner you can detect a problem with a transaction, the easier it is to fix.  Many financial institutions offer e-mail or text message alerts when your balance falls below a certain level or when there is a transaction over a certain amount.

 - Never, ever, ever give your Social Security number, credit or debit card numbers, personal identification numbers (PINs) or any other confidential information in response to an unsolicited e-mail, text message or phone call, no matter who the source supposedly is. Chances are an "urgent" e-mail or a phone call appearing to be from a government agency (such as the IRS or the FDIC), a bank, merchant or other well-known organization is a scam attempting to trick consumers into divulging personal and account information. It's called "phishing," a high-tech variation of the concept of "fishing" for personal information.  Remember, your financial institution already has your account numbers, why would they call and ask for them?

 -. Do not open attachments or click on links in unsolicited e-mails from anyone you don't know or you otherwise aren't sure about. Sometimes these attachments or links can infect your computer with "spyware" that can change your security settings and record your keystrokes. Spyware is designed to secretly steal your passwords, bank or credit card numbers, and your answers to security questions like your mother's maiden name or your high school. Online thieves can use this information to log into your account, make changes and transfer money, leaving your bank account empty.



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