BBB Offers Tips to Protect Consumers in 2016

January 07, 2016
Marlborough, MA – With the start of a new year comes the chance to turn the page and begin anew. There’s no better time to resolve to take steps that will protect your personal and financial information. Better Business Bureau Serving E. MA, ME, RI & VT (BBB) offers tips to help you be more prepared in 2016 – for anything that might come your way.
BBB

Simply by implementing these ten resolutions, consumers can make huge strides towards securing their finances and identity:

1. Check your credit report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. Review it closely for errors and report any inconsistencies you see. Checking your credit report may help you catch signs of identity theft early.

2. Sign up for the Do Not Call Registry by visiting donotcall.gov. This should reduce the number of telemarketing calls you receive at home or on your cellphone. Be aware, scammers are making calls claiming to be the National Do Not Call Registry and the FTC. Do not respond to these calls.

3. If you’re looking to cut down on the amount of unsolicited offers you receive through the mail, visit dmachoice.org.

4. Dispose of older bank and credit card statements, expired credit cards and unwanted credit card solicitations securely by shredding and disposing of them properly.

5. When using public Wi-Fi connections, don’t make any purchases or share any sensitive personal information. Public means public, and fraudsters are known to frequent Wi-Fi hotspots. Always verify the network before accessing it.

6. If you receive an offer or solicitation, research the business for free at bbb.org or by calling 508-652-4800.

7. Never respond to phone calls or emails asking to “verify” your personal information. Your bank, your credit card provider, the IRS – none of these organizations will call or email asking for your confidential information. They already have it on file.

8. Secure or lock sensitive personal documents around your home, especially if you have roommates, employ outside help or are having work performed in your home.

9. Don’t store credit card numbers or other financial information on your smartphone or tablet. Add a passcode lock (or security password) on your devices.

10. Change your email and social media passwords and ‘beef up’ your security by creating hard to crack passwords. Choose passwords that are easy for you to remember but difficult for others to guess. Incorporate a combination of numbers, capital letters and symbols. Avoid using the same password for all of your accounts.

Though it’s nearly impossible to protect yourself completely from fraud and scams, consumers who take these steps will be doing a lot to keep themselves safe and secure in the coming year.

For more information you can trust, visit us at bbb.org/boston or like us on Facebook.

– See more at: http://www.bbb.org/boston/news-events/news-releases/2016/01/bbb-offers-tips-to-protect-consumers-in-2016/#sthash.mTQ2jMUJ.dpuf

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