Consumer Protection Week (March 4 - 10, 2012):
An Ideal Time to Add a Layer of Security to Personal Finances
Washington, DC - Personal finances have become increasingly complex, yet hardly a day goes by that doesn't involve a financial transaction. Realizing that there are those eager to separate consumers from their money and destroy their financial reputation makes financial protection take on a new level of importance.
In recognition of Consumer Protection Week, the National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC) challenges consumers to add a layer of security to their financial future by putting the following do-it-yourself protection tips in place:
- Use caution when engaging with social media sites, as even the smallest bit of data or casual comment can provide thieves with enough information to wreak havoc, both personally and financially.
- Beware of phishing. Learn what to look for to verify that an email is authentic, as crooks can make such communications appear very realistic through logos and web addresses that mirror the actual.
- Suspect that an email is a scam if it asks for personal information or money, even though it appears to be from someone you know or do business with.
- When buying online, make the payment with a credit card instead of a debit card, as credit cards provide more security against fraud.
- Become familiar with consumer rights by reviewing the Fair Credit Protection Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Fair Credit Billing Act, each available at www.ftc.gov.
- Guard against identity theft by obtaining your credit report from www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
- Open and examine credit card statements for unauthorized transactions, or create access to financial accounts online in order to review statements more frequently.
- Request direct deposit for all checks. If not available, consider obtaining a post office box or locked mailbox.
"The above steps will move consumers into a much safer place financially," said Gail Cunningham, spokesperson for the NFCC. "They are easy to implement, and will provide another level of much-needed financial protection.
For help making sure that all of your financial bases are covered, consider reaching out to Consumer Credit Counseling Service, an NFCC Member Agency. To schedule an appointment with a Certified Credit Counselor, simply dial (423) 490-5620, or email CCCSreception@partnershipfca.com.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC), founded in 1951, is the nation's largest and longest serving national nonprofit credit counseling organization. The NFCC's mission is to promote the national agenda for financially responsible behavior, and build capacity for its members to deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services. NFCC Members annually help more than three million consumers through close to 800 community-based offices nationwide.