financial tip of the week...

by Genya Harley 

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My Tip this week focus' strictly on protecting your financial-self, as best you can, from identity theft or just THEFT!

Using my own lesson learned, in short, use a Pre-paid Visa/MC card or establish a Visa/MC debt/credit card that is linked to account with the sole purpose of using all the funds in that account strictly for your vacation or just use a regular credit card or cash if you can!

In other words, set up a savings or checking account with only those funds you will use on the vacation. Do not use your card that is attached to your account where your bills and other financial transactions are occurring in that main account.
Here is why:

We go on a week's vacation, most people have to leave a credit card on file when you check into a hotel, in some cases you have to use a credit card to establish an account on a cruise etc....someone stole our card information and...

When we returned, after close scrutiny of our bank/checking account online, we find that there were purchases made at a Walgreen's in Kenner, Louisiana a day after we returned to Chicago from Florida and the Bahamas....!!!! Crazy!

Needless to say, it is good that we already had established Credit Fraud protection through the 3 Credit Bureaus, we have fraud protection via our bank and we pay close attention to our bank accounts everyday!

The bank returned our money and is investigating. We're good!
However, what I learned is that our Visa debit/credit card number, expiration date and the 3 digit code on the back was cloned onto another card and someone used it to make purchases using it as credit card...$200 in purchases from a Walgreen's? WOW! Our bank happens to be affiliated with Walgreen's, so the resolution to the problem came quick!

Some people may not be as fortunate depending on who they bank with. Please folks!! Be very diligent about your finances, pay close attention to your accounts and accounting and as I always say OPEN YOUR MAIL!

Especially in this day, there are so many people out there who are dishonest, just straight up THIEVES!!!!! Call me or email me with questions or concerns! For more, on protecting your identify, start with your Social Security card.

As always, be safe, use wisdom!

Genya Harley
Financial Consultant
W&S Financial Group
Orland Park, IL

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