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How to use banking alerts to manage money and prevent fraud

Help prevent fraud on banking account with card alerts
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Tip: Use low-balance alerts to notify you when it's time to make a deposit to your account so you can avoid costly overdraft fees.

Which banking alerts do you need?

There are several different kinds of banking alerts you can set up. Here are some of the alerts to consider for your account:

  • Low-balance alerts — If you're worried about overdrafts, you can set up an alert to let you know when your checking account balance falls below a certain limit.
  • Bill due-date alerts — Paying bills late can trigger a late fee. And with certain bills like credit cards, a late payment can actually harm your credit score. Setting up due-date alerts is a hassle-free way to avoid paying late.
  • Card alerts — Having a budget is important to keep your spending under control. Using an alert to notify you each time a debit card or credit card transaction posts to your account can help you be more mindful of how often you swipe your card. Plus, you can set up card alerts to notify you if any unusual activity occurs on your account.
  • Security alerts — These alerts let you know when critical events occur to your account, including changes to your login (username or password) and profile information (address, email, or security questions), or when your account has been locked (such as when the wrong password has been repeatedly entered).
  • Secure message alerts — From time to time, your bank may send you updates about your account. These alerts can tell you when it's time to log in and check your messages.

Don't just set alerts and forget them

Banking alerts can make managing your money less stressful — but only if you're paying attention to them. When a banking alert hits your inbox, take a moment to read it and see what's new with your account. And if you spot anything that looks like it might be fraudulent activity, don't hesitate to get in touch with your bank. Acting quickly on a banking alert can save you a load of worry later if it means stopping fraud before any serious damage is done.

Many financial institutions have processes in place to notify you of suspicious activity on your account that don't require you to enroll. Make sure to keep your contact information current with your bank to receive these important notifications.

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Important Disclosure Information

This content is general in nature and does not constitute legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment advice. You are encouraged to consult with competent legal, tax, accounting, financial or investment professionals based on your specific circumstances. We do not make any warranties as to accuracy or completeness of this information, do not endorse any third-party companies, products, or services described here, and take no liability for your use of this information.

  1. American Psychological Association, "APA Stress in America™ Survey: US at 'Lowest Point We Can Remember;' Future of Nation Most Commonly Reported Source of Stress," November 2017, http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2017/11/lowest-point.aspx, accessed May 14, 2018. Back