Red Alert: Americans Are Accidentally Triggering Fraud Alerts on Their Own Bank Accounts, Finds a New Report

El Segundo, CA (PRWEB) June 17, 2013

Fraud protection helps consumers feel safe when swiping their cards or shopping online. Having this type of defense in place today is especially important as identity fraud has increased by one million incidents over the past year, according to research company Javelin Strategy, which amounts to $ 21 billion in stolen funds. With such high security measures in place, finds many cardholders are accidentally triggering their own fraud alerts causing their bank account to freeze. The personal finance site releases a new report to help consumers avoid the frustration of dealing with an unnecessary fraud alert.

In their report, investigates the most common triggers of a bank fraud alert, and identifies ways consumers can accidentally set off these red flags through their own purchasing behaviors.

1. Performing a transaction out of town.

One of the easiest ways consumers can end up with a frozen account is by heading out of town and swiping a card, according to the report. An attempted transaction from a location other than where the cardholder lives is a giant red flag to the bank, since card thieves will likely head out of town before using stolen information to make a purchase.

Of course, theres always the chance cardholders are simply traveling, but a freeze is put in place nonetheless. Banks doesnt know their customers vacation plans and will err on the side of caution unless card users direct them otherwise.

2. Making a large purchase from a vendor where thieves typically shop.

Sol Nasisi of personal finance site tells that certain items are typically associated with card fraud, such as consumer electronics and jewelry. Small transactions here and there DVDs from Best Buy or earrings from Macys probably arent going to sound off any alarm bells, at least at first. However, if shoppers are buying a new flatscreen TV to go with their jet ski and put the purchase on a card, card owners can expect a call from the bank.

3. Buying gas in a “bad” neighborhood.

Card transactions occurring in bad neighborhoods set off fraud alerts often. Criminals who steal credit cards usually test them out by making small purchases that are likely to go unnoticed by the cards owner, writes Sam Burgoon on, adding, What really raises a red flag concerning these small purchases (which are after all very common) is when they take place in a rough neighborhood, where there are higher crime rates.

See the full report here:

For questions about this report or to speak with a GoBankingRates editor, please use the contact information below.

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