Keep a grip on your bank accounts

CHICO – For those of you who are money savvy, banking awareness might seem like a no-brainer.

Keeping a close eye on your finances logically makes sense, especially in the age of smartphones where we can monitor our balance at the push of a button.

The rest of us, however, sometimes have to learn this through severe trial and error, and in some unfortunate cases, severe financial hardship.

Personally, over the past few years, I’ve started checking my account three to four times a week just to make sure the numbers were fresh in my head when I was considering purchases rather than waiting for a bank statement by mail or check whenever it was time to pay the bills.

There are scammers who bet on people who are not very careful.

The federal government has issued many warnings about banking scams and what to watch out for, and these can apply to anyone, regardless of age or financial status.

Many of these scams revolve around traditional methods such as overpayment scams and check fraud. Some newer ones that have become popular in the age of technology may seem understated.

For example, phishing scams asking you to verify your bank account or credit card number, pretending to be a trusted source on top of that. Perhaps you receive an SMS from Spotify asking you to renew your credit card registered for your premium account. Or more slyly, impersonate PG&E saying they need to update your map information to keep it fresh this summer.

Next thing you know, you’re at Winco trying to buy groceries for the week and your card is declined because your bank account is depleted.

First, always check who is trying to contact you about your debit or credit card. Do not give this information by text or email, only through the app itself if you wish. Keep in mind that apps will rarely ask you to update your payment information.

Check your accounts often to make sure the money hasn’t been withdrawn by someone who got hold of your numbers, and if you notice anything incomplete, report it immediately.

Scam of the week usually happens every Tuesday. Readers are encouraged to contact reporter Jake Hutchison to report scams and potential scams they have come across by calling 828-1329 or emailing [email protected]