Avoid credit card fraud

While most credit cards come with identity theft protection and theft prevention services, the best way to protect your credit is by following a few best-practices with your personal and credit information.

Check your statements and log into online banking or your mobile app on a regular basis.

Many unauthorized transactions don’t involve the use of the physical card; a name, credit card number, expiration date and security code are all it takes to buy something online or by phone.

To guard against fraudulent use of your card information, check Bank of the West Online Banking, mobile app, or your statements on a regular basis and look for purchases you didn't authorize.

If you receive paper statements, and you don't need them for personal budgeting and other financial purposes, shred or file them once you're finished with them. Or better yet, go paperless and choose to view your statements through Online Banking or the mobile app.

Report lost or stolen cards immediately.

If you’ve lost or misplaced your card, report it to us immediately. The longer your card is not with you, the longer someone else could use it.

Log into online banking immediately or review your last statement and make sure that no unauthorized purchases have been made.

If any unauthorized purchases appear, your credit card company can usually cancel or reverse the transactions as long as they are reported in a timely fashion.

Notify your bank and your credit card company when you travel.

Call or log into online banking or your mobile app, as well as notify any other banks or credit card issuers. Let them know where you’re traveling and for how long.

If your card is suddenly used out-of-state or abroad, and you haven’t notified the bank or card issuer, your card may be flagged for possible fraud and blocked from use. Also, you may receive a call or text requesting confirmation of transactions.

Protect your personal information.

Create strong passwords for your online banking and credit card log ins as well as your mobile phone, and keep your passwords safe. A strong password contains combinations of letters, numbers and special characters and is not obvious. Avoid using your name, date of birth, or anything else that someone could easily guess.

If you're giving your credit card number over the phone, make sure you're not overheard.

And, don't carry with you any personal information that you don't need. If your wallet or purse is stolen, you’ll lose your personal and credit information.

Opt for online billing and statements.

Whenever possible, avoid paper billing and statements. Receive and pay your bills electronically. Online credit statements and bills can be more secure than paper statements.

It's much easier to steal your credit information from a paper statement than from a secure website. You can usually sign up for online alerts or enroll in an electronic reminder system so you don’t fall behind on payments.

Legal information and Disclosures

For informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice.

Wireless carriers may charge fees for text transmissions or data usage. Message frequency depends on account settings. Text HELP to BKWST (25978) for help. Availability of Mobile Banking may be affected by your mobile device's coverage area.