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Protect Your Finances During the Holidays

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San Francisco, Calif | Nov 18, 2011

With the Holiday Season quickly upon us, now is the time to take extra steps to protect your wallet and identity online and offline. The following is some advice to increase your awareness and help you protect yourself during the holiday season.

Suspicious Transactions - Be aware of any suspicious transactions. As we ramp up our holiday shopping, it's important that we keep our receipts and online purchase confirmations. Periodically monitor recent transactions to ensure that they are accurate.

Credit over Debit - Credit cards generally provides more financial protection against fraudulent transactions than debit cards. The timeframe to report credit card fraud is much more generous than with debit cards.

Portion Control - Limit the about of cash and the number of bank cards in your wallet or purse. The crowds of eager holiday shoppers provide the perfect opportunity for fraudsters to strike without notice. Be aware of your surroundings; keep your purse close or your wallet in your front pocket and protect your PIN number at all times.

Beware of Card Skimming - Card skimming involves the use of electronic devices that read the magnetic strip on your credit or debit card and store the information for future fraudulent use. If you are at the checkout line and you notice the sales person using two different devices to process your transaction, this could be a warning sign of potential fraud.

Limit your online transactions to trusted sources - Protect yourself from hackers by updating your anti-virus software, activating your firewall and using the most current browser version. When you are ready to finalize your online purchase, check the web address to ensure it begins with the letters "https." These letters confirm that the page is secure.

If you notice any suspicious activity on your account, report it to the Bank immediately so that an investigation can be opened and steps can be taken to protect your account and identity. While the holiday season brings us much joy and togetherness, it's important to remain diligent in protecting our finances against threats.

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