Cybercrime - Tips for Keeping Yourself (and your Money) Safe from Fraudsters

XPYRIA Team Insights

Cybercrime - Tips for Keeping Yourself (and your Money) Safe from Fraudsters

Jana Graham XPYRIA Team Insights

It should come as no surprise that the incidence of cybercrime increased significantly with the onset of the global pandemic. Individuals and organizations adapted quickly to life and work at home during this period, relying even more on the internet for communication, collaboration, shopping, banking, entertainment, virtually every facet of life. Unfortunately, the ever-nimble scammers remain one step ahead in devising new methods to separate you from your money.

This was the topic of a session at a conference I recently attended. While some of the points made during the presentation may seem obvious as you read them, I suspect that, like me, you will still have some actionable items you may wish to address:

  • The safest form of payment in the US is the credit card – not the debit card. Fraudulent charges to credit cards can be disputed with the credit card company and removed from your statement while fraudulent debit card charges are immediate withdrawals from your checking account. Such withdrawals can be much more difficult to have reversed and restored by your bank.
  • If you wish to use an ATM, request an ATM card, rather than and ATM/debit card from your bank. If you must have an ATM/debit card, set the debit side exposure to $1 to limit losses and only use the card at ATMs of banks or reputable businesses.
  • If you use a digital payment platform, such as Venmo, do not back it with your bank account or debit card. Back it with a credit card instead. Even though there may be a small fee associated with this method, consider it “insurance/protection” for limiting hackers’ access to your bank account/debit card information.
  • Whenever possible, avoid making payments by check unless you use “high security checks,” which are checks that incorporate more than 10 security features. Anyone who sees the check (even a picture of your check) can open an account in your name or order duplicate checks on your account.
  • Be extremely cautious with the personal information you share on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, etc. A fraudster often only needs your place of birth and date of birth to steal your identity. Many folks share this information readily (or inadvertently) through social media.
  • Freeze your credit with all 3 of the major credit reporting bureaus (TransUnion, Experian and Equifax). This simple tip can prevent identity thieves from using your information to open accounts in your name.

For much more information on protecting yourself from scams of all types, cybercrime and identity theft and on the presenter, Frank Abagnale, Jr., you can visit Mr. Abagnale’s website:

About the Author

Jana Graham

Director of Operations
As Director of Operations, Jana manages the Firm’s activities toward achieving our strategic goals. She also oversees the daily business and financial operations and assists with HR and compliance functions. During her tenure with the Firm, Jana’s responsibilities have also included client service, back-office operations, and investment research. Leveraging her technical expertise, Jana leads the Firm’s technology initiatives from visioning to implementation – always with the goal of improving the client experience.