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Credit Card Hacks : How to Prevent Fraud

Valerie Chua

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Credit Card Hacks How to Prevent Fraud

Every time you swipe your credit card or enter your account information online, chances are you’re being targeted by a fraudster ready to exploit victims who don’t take precautions.

Credit card fraud refers to the different types of illegal and unauthorized use of a credit card to acquire goods, enjoy services, or withdrawing funds from an account without the intention of paying for them.

How does credit card fraud occur?

There are generally four ways fraudsters get right down to business:

1. By using a lost or stolen credit card
2. By skimming a card or using a special machine that clones it after one swipe
3. By stealing credit card and other account info from online databases
4. By applying for a new card using another person’s details without their consent

Credit card fraud typically happens alongside other crimes such as identity theft and hacking. Recent data breaches involving credit reporting agency Equifax and credit card company Capital One, for example, have left the personal data and financial records of hundreds of millions of people exposed online for identity thieves and fraudsters to exploit.

It’s this combination of data and identity theft arising from security breaches and the lack of vigilance on the part of the consumer that makes it easier for criminals to tap into and manipulate people’s finances.

Even without a massive breach occurring, cases of fraud might continue to go unnoticed if the account holder pays little attention to the transactions showing up on their statement. The first step to detecting fraud, therefore, is to stay alert when it comes to your credit card use and in monitoring your finances.

While you want to spend wisely with your credit card, keeping tabs on purchases—no matter how small—is just as important in staying secure. Monitoring what type of purchase and where and when it was made will clue you in on the suspicious activity.

There are also other ways to help you protect yourself from credit card fraud. These tips range from keeping the actual physical card secure to doubling down the protection on your online account.

How to keep your credit card and receipts safe

1. Always sign a new card immediately upon receiving it. This prevents thieves from forging your signature in case they get a hold of the actual card.

2. Don’t place your credit cards all in one wallet to minimize the risk, as well as the hassle of having to report multiple cards in case you lose your wallet.

3. Be vigilant at all times when paying. Keep an eye on your card when handing it off to the cashier.

4. While you may be feeling generous at times, never lend your card to anyone unless you are confident it will be in good hands.

5. File all your credit reports, transaction records, billing statements and receipts, safely in a place only you know or one that requires an access code. Keep your records with personally identifiable information such as social security and credit card numbers away from prying eyes.

6. Carefully examine whether the amount included in your billing statement reflects the same amount in your receipt. Any discrepancy should be taken as an indication of suspicious activity.

7. Double-check details such as purchases and the date and location of the transaction, specifically those you do not recall making at shops or restaurants you do not regularly visit.

8. If you must discard any documents, remember to shred them first and ensure your personal details are no longer identifiable in the printout.

9. If you must discard old credit cards, remember to cut them up and specifically destroy the chip and magnetic strip to bar any future financial transactions.

10. Never provide your account details over the phone unless you made the call and are sure about the transaction and its purpose.

How to secure your online accounts

1. Set an alphanumeric password that cannot be easily associated with your other personal details such as your name, birth date, or even the names of your family members and pets.

2. Activate a multifactor authentication system on your online bank account or mobile banking app. This can be a combination of a text-based password, a one-time SMS code or a text-based password, and biometric data such as your fingerprint, iris or facial scan.

3. Change your password periodically and never write it down on just any random piece of paper.

4. Monitor your online bank accounts weekly, if not daily. Report any suspicious activity immediately.

5. Never open your account when accessing through public Wi-Fi or on a public device. This is a hotbed of identity thieves and fraudsters looking for their next victim.

How to protect yourself against scams

1. Never respond to a suspicious email asking you to click on a link, download a file, or input details into an online form. No matter how tempting an offer may seem, remember that reputable companies will never prompt you to perform such activities through email.

2. Initiate transactions using only the official website of a company. Check whether the URL or website address has any misspellings or weird alphanumeric combinations. This is a sign you may be looking at a fraudulent website trying to mimic a legitimate one.

3. Check the details of the website you are accessing. Reputable sites have the extra bit https:// and a lock icon in the URL bar. This indicates the page you are accessing is secure.

4. Never communicate with anyone claiming to be a representative or agent of a company that you did not request to contact you.

Being alert when it comes to credit card fraud will help you stay on top of your finances and keep you from falling into the trap of fraudsters, hackers, and identity thieves.

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What Is The Importance Of Travel Insurance For Business?

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Travel Insurance For Business

The digital world of today is operating through leading technologies and further advancements. Artificial Intelligence, Block Chain, Cyber Security, Machine Learning, and the Internet of Things are some of the leading technologies in the running era. With the ongoing trends of the planet, understanding the importance of travel insurance for business is necessary.

Marketers, retailers, and similar like-minded peers must realize the necessity of travel insurance while traveling for work. A major part of the market keeps roaming in different corners of the world without buying any travel and medical insurance.

The Importance of Travel Insurance for Business Trips

Business travel insurance is preferable over a regular one for business travelers. It is because you can avail of a better cover through this type of insurance when traveling for work.

For instance, your basic needs during a business tour include business documents, company cash, and electronic gadgets like laptops, smart phones, tablets, and cables, etc. Unfortunately, you cannot claim for these items in standard insurance.

Remember, whenever you book a flight from an online travel operator, always search for travel insurance. The Balkan Holidays voucher codes are an excellent way to find online travel deals along with travel insurance.

Most often, companies do not cover your medical emergencies while you are abroad on a business trip. Hospital bills most likely exceed your travel budget when you come across any sort of ailment out of your country. Therefore, you must understand the importance of travel insurance for keeping away from healthcare costs and similar troubles.

Business Travel Insurance Covers

There are some basic things business travel insurance can cover and benefit you during the trip. Make sure of these points and find reasons for availing insurance before planning your trip.

1. Medical Emergencies Cover

Coming across illness and medical conditions are common during any sort of trips. Good business travel insurance covers your healthcare cost of all levels. Unexpected situations like consuming dangerous liquids or unhealthy food can sometimes be very expensive. Also, people face troubles due to altitude pressure and weather changes.

For preventing any risks in such conditions, often people need emergency evacuation to the nearest facility by all possible transport means. Affording medical transportation fees is not possible for everyone but your insurance can quickly cover it and save you a fortune.

Moreover, you can also cover serious emergencies with this insurance like broken bones, heart attack, or any type of accident. You can always look for insurance that covers most of the treatment and amenities like ambulance, medical evacuation, and even surgeries.

2. Stolen Luggage Cover

The situation of lost baggage or stolen travel bag is costly and depressing for plenty of reasons. Your suitcase on business trips includes items more important than luxuries and accessories. Losing documents, office laptops, or company cash can adversely affect your job.

Also, it lowers your credibility and stains your professional behavior at times. You can stay from all such negativities and benefit a cover for all these.

3. Kidnapping and Ransom Cover

The importance of travel insurance for business is visible if you have a kidnap and ransom cover. It is necessary for business travelers who are flying to kidnap-prone regions on this planet. In such areas, kidnappers most likely target high-profile employees or company executives. Your company can face a heavy financial loss if any employee gets kidnapped abroad on a business trip.

Heavy ransom demands can be life-risking if your company is unable to cooperate. Also, there are additional costs in such conditions as hiring investigators, attorneys, lawyers, and similar services. Owning kidnapping insurance can save companies from all such companies.

The advantages of this policy include ransom reimbursement, ransom loss, investigator fees, travel expenses, and even medical costs. It is easy to save employees’ wellbeing with such covers. Also, it allows an individual to claim for the assets that are lost during such a situation. Similar is the case for hijacks and any relatable unfortunate incidents.

4. Flight Delay Cover

The covers that you get for flight delays are also available in a standard policy. However, the importance of travel insurance highlights when you miss your flight or it gets delayed. All the last-minute delays can be extremely expensive and bring you unfortunate expenses and stress.

The additional cost of accommodation, food, travel, medicines, and more can trouble you without owning insurance. However, you will be able to receive reimbursements for extra costs of transportation and cuisine. Also, you can benefit from a payback if there is a leftover portion of your trip by availing insurance.

Every possible condition for which you can avail a cover includes natural disasters, weather conditions, terror strikes, loss of money, or traffic accidents. Majorly, these benefits help you in reaching home safely or rejoining your trip.

5. Protection from Financial Risks

Overall, the importance of travel insurance for business is impossible to ignore. The numerous business trip troubles stated above are not coverable by every company. It is quite possible that employees do not receive reimbursements for such losses by their organizations.

Many companies leave their workers with heavy medical bills without helping them with any medical emergencies and lost luggage. Business travel insurance saves travelers from conditions that can occur abroad. Often, business owners only cover their employees while their employees are in life-risking situations.

However, finding insurance at every travel operator site is not preferable. Some insurance companies can provide you lower travel benefits and worse covers. It is not easy to purchase worthy and authentic insurance. You must go through the policy and read every term and condition for receiving reimbursements that you assume.

Final Thoughts

In today’s world, every travel website contributes to the importance of travel insurance for every type of trip. In terms of business tourism, factors and covers vary therefore; it is better to purchase travel insurance according to the sort of journey.

You can also find travel deals while finding insurance for your trip. Make a habit of reading every policy and freely travel to every corner of the world.

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Tricks to Maintain Your Vehicle’s Resale Value

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Tricks to Maintain Your Vehicle's Resale Value

Photo by Sung Wang on Unsplash

The used car market in the US is already more than twice the size of the new car market and growing at a faster rate, according to a report by McKinsey. Most Americans would rather buy a used vehicle than a new one, which is great news for every person who knows that the day will come when they’ll want to or have to sell their vehicle. However, just because the market is strong doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll get a good price for your car. If you want your car to sell for top dollar and make the most return on your initial investment, there are various things you can do to maintain its resale value.

1. Pay close attention to vehicle specifications when buying

Vehicles are not created equal, and some are known to retain value longer than others. Too often people buy vehicles based on the price and appearance, and they fail to assess the financial implications of owning it long-term. When buying a new vehicle, you need to do some due diligence to know which type retains its value best over many years. For example, if you are buying a truck, you can compare the ratings and features of different trucks to know which one is likely to hold its value for longer. You can also check verified owner feedback to know which vehicle is more dependable based on the number of problems reported during the period of ownership.

2. Follow proper maintenance procedures

Many owners neglect their vehicles and assume that buyers won’t notice when it’s time to sell. However, this is not the case; neglect is hard to cover up and every time you postpone maintenance you take a gamble. Start by following the manufacturer’s recommended service schedule to avoid big, costly repairs in the future. Make sure you keep all your service records as it shows potential buyers that you took good care of the car when you owned it. Many buyers are willing to pay more for a vehicle with good service records. Regular cleaning of the interior and exterior is also vital as it keeps the vehicle looking new and smelling good for longer, which gives a potential buyer a great first impression of the vehicle.

3. Store your vehicle properly

You need to store your vehicle in a safe place, preferably a garage, where it’s protected from the elements, particularly if you live in an extremely hot or cold climate. Too much sun may fade the outer surfaces of the vehicle while extremely cold temperatures can destroy the engine and other related components. By storing your vehicle in a climate-controlled indoor environment, you can avoid costly and unnecessary repairs and maintain your vehicle’s value.

In Conclusion

A vehicle is one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make in your life. Whether you want to sell it next week, next month, or a few years from now, you need to do everything possible to maintain its value to ensure that you get the highest price possible when that time comes.

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Reasons You Should Switch to an Online Bank

Barri Segal

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online banking benefits

Image credit: Pixabay

If you’re banking traditionally — aka at a brick-and-mortar institution — and you’re happy with it, great. But if you’re tired of driving to your bank, waiting in line to take care of your transactions and often uncovering hidden fees associated with your account, there might be a better solution for you.

There is no one perfect solution when it comes to banking, but online banking comes pretty close. Now you can stay put and bank in the comfort of your own place, likely get a better deal when it comes to interest rates and fees and never deal with waiting in line again.

Keep reading to find out a number of reasons why it might benefit you to switch to online banking and see if it meets your needs and works for your overall financial situation.

Online Banks Generally Offer Lower Fees

Because brick-and-mortar banks must pay big overhead costs, they tend to pass those costs on to their customers. Online banks, on the other hand, do not have high operating costs, and they tend to pass on those savings to customers in the form of lower fees.

Online Banks Generally Offer Better Rates

Again, because online banks don’t have that expensive overhead to pay, they also tend to provide consumers with better rates on savings accounts and CDs — and loans and credit cards if they offer them. Even if an online bank is offering what sounds like a small interest percentage more than a traditional bank, every penny counts, particularly when your interest is compounding.

Online Banking Is Uber Convenient

Think about banking any time you want — you never have to wait for your bank to open or worry that it’s closed. Online banking offers 24/7 access to your accounts and funds, wherever you are. If you never had to wait in a bank line again it might be worth it to make the switch just for that. And think about this: If you move out of your city, you never have to switch banks.

It’s Easy to Make Deposits and Access Cash at Online Banks

Although you can easily deposit a check at a traditional bank’s ATM, why do that when you can use a mobile app to deposit one at an online bank? It’s so easy — all you need to do is sign the back of the check, snap a picture of the back and front, add in the amount and send it off for deposit. In addition, if you’re worried about not having access to your cash, keep in mind that most online banking institutions provide customers with a large network of ATMs they can use.

Online Banks Might Offer Rewards

If you’re thinking of opening an account at an online bank, do your research. You might be able to find one that offers rewards such as a bonus for opening an account or cash back for spending in different merchandize categories.

Online Banks Can Help You Manage Your Money

If you haven’t explored online banking, you might be surprised at how easy it is to manage your money via an online account. You can check your account information any time you want, transfer funds immediately, send money and pay bills with an online account. Some online banks even offer automated savings deductions from your checking account so you can save without even thinking about it.

Make Sure You Join an FDIC-insured Online Bank

You must consider only online banks backed by the FDIC, which guarantees deposits of up to XXXX. That way, if the bank goes out of business, your money is safe.

How to Choose Your Online Bank

There are so many choices in online banks that it might be difficult for you to choose just one. Because you already know you must choose one that is FDIC-insured, you’re already a step ahead of the game. In addition to that, it’s a good idea to check out how stable the bank is — consider things such as how long it’s been up and running, how big its asset base is, and maybe even review some of its financial reports. A little legwork in the beginning could save you a headache in the long-run.

Make sure you find an online bank with a healthy ATM network so you won’t have trouble accessing your cash — and ask if you’ll be reimbursed if you use other banks’ ATMs. And because you’ll be banking online, do check your choice’s security record to see if it has had any breaches and also if it will provide you with alerts regarding suspicious transactions. Last, if you do more than check and save at a bank, make sure the online bank you choose offers an array of financial products, such as CDs and money market accounts, credit cards and loans.

To get you started with your search, GOBankingRates compiled a list of best online banks of 2020. All 10 picks include no fees for checking, savings APYs of 1.10% or greater and 12-month CD APYs from 0.31% to 2.10%, so it’s a great place to begin.

How to Open an Online Bank Account

It’s a cinch to open an online bank account. Once you’ve chosen which one you want to join, all you need is a computer and Internet access. Then, it’s just a matter of applying for the account online (of course), which will require some personal information, including your Social Security number and the bank or credit union from which you want to transfer money to open the account.

You might want to keep your traditional bank account and try out an online account for a month or so just to make sure it fits your needs. And keep in mind that if you ever have to talk with a real, live person, have no fear — online banks typically provide live customer service departments just like brick-and-mortar institutions, and many are open 24/7.

Just Do It

Face it — our economy is going digital, and fast. Maybe it’s time for you to join the digital revolution. Online banking is an easy, secure way to do that while providing you with convenience and often putting money in your pocket. If you’re still banking the traditional way, consider online banking. Chances are, you’ll never look back.

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