The holiday season is upon us and shoppers across the country have made their lists, checked them twice and are headed out to do their shopping. In all the busyness at this time of year, there are a few important things to remember to safeguard your finances.
- When using your debit or credit card, ALWAYS request your receipt (that includes carbon copies if an old credit card machine is used.).
- You can verify the correct amount was charged
- Verify your statements when debit or charge is posted
- Not leave any information behind
- Check your account frequently. Online banking is a simple tool that provides 24 hour access to your accounts. Look at it often, or review your bank statement and make sure all transactions are legitimate. If you happen to notice anything unusual, contact UB&T right away.
- Know where your debit card is at all times, especially when it is being used. Keep track of the person who takes your card at the time of a purchase.
- Be sure to protect your personal identification number or PIN, passwords, and user IDs. Never write this information down, keep it in your wallet, or save it on a computer or website.
- Be aware of your surroundings when using your PIN to check out at a store or when using the ATM. Literally, shield your PIN with your hand or body so others cannot see it.
- If shopping online, use only secure web pages (check the bottom of your browser for an image of a lock or look for “https” in the address bar).
- Avoid using your debit card or writing a check when you do not have enough funds in your account. UB&T online banking has a simple ‘Notification’ that you can set up. You will receive an email if your account balance drops below a specified dollar amount.
Managing your holiday expenses with a few money-saving tips:
- Set a total budget, and then subtract what you spend. This works better than adding everything up as you go.
- Clip newspaper and online coupons. Stores often match competitors’ prices even if their own items aren’t on sale. Plus, many websites post downloadable coupons and sale codes for retailers.
- Mobile shopping apps let in-store smartphone and tablet users scan product barcodes and make on-the-spot price comparisons, read reviews, download coupons, buy products and more.
- Many stores and websites ship gifts for free, saving you time and expense.
- Carefully read purchase-return policies for deadlines, exclusions (e.g., for sale or clearance items) and restocking charges.
- Keep receipts. Many retailers will refund the price difference if an item goes on sale within a few weeks after purchase.
- Check whether your credit card agreement provides free product warranty extensions and/or price protection.
Update: UB&T has scheduled an Online Banking security enhancement in mid-December. When accessing your online account, you will receive a prompt notifying you of when and how changes may need to be made to your online account information.
This enhancement is a result of requirements mandated by The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).
Checking your Credit Report on an annual basis is important and another step in safeguarding your finances. Since its launch on December 1, 2004, AnnualCreditReport.com has placed a premium on maintaining the integrity and security of consumers seeking free annual credit reports under the FACT Act.