Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Productively examine your bank statement for fraud etc

My bank sends a printed statement of my account activity every month. Going thru and validating each item in the statement can be a real pain.

Here's one trick I use. Every withdrawal I make from the ATM is always an uncommon amount. For example, I always withdraw $70 from the ATM. When browsing thru the statement, I discard all the 70$ withdrawals and scrutinize the few transactions left.

Now, this technique can be a liability in a focused fraud attack. If somebody knows you always withdraw 70$, then they can take advantage of this and withdraw large amounts in multiples of 70$. You wouldn't notice this in your statement. To prevent this, you can switch to a different uncommon amount every month.

This can also be a way to know at a glance if your significant other is making some significant withdrawals :-).

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