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Financial adviser gives tips to prevent credit card fraud after DeKalb water board employee arrested

WAAY 31 spoke with a financial adviser to learn some steps you can take to prevent credit card fraud and identity theft.

Posted: Apr 7, 2021 4:47 PM
Updated: Apr 7, 2021 5:11 PM

A former DeKalb Jackson Water District employee is being charged with three counts of credit card fraud and identity theft.

Jessica Hosch is accused of using customers' credit and debit card numbers to make online purchases. 

If you're nervous to enter your credit card information online, you can always go back to the basics and pay your bills by sending in a check. A Welch Group financial adviser, Reagan White, said paying your bills online is practically risk-free. However, he did note that unfortunately, nothing is 100% risk-free. 

“I would say, it’s probably going to be a small, small risk out there to do things like this, but if you think that small amount of risk isn’t worth it, then I think going into a more traditional, you know, paying your bills through checks is still an option that a lot of people are doing today,” he said.

White said red flags should be going off if a bill pay service is asking you to email them your account number or any personal information.

Another thing White suggests is to pay your bills with a credit card instead of a debit card. 

“If there was some fraudulent claim or withdrawal from your credit card, you could challenge that with your credit card company and they would probably, most likely, have to eat those losses,” said White. 

You may never get the money back if someone compromises your debit card. Keeping consistent tabs on your spending is a way to know if some fraudulent charges come up. You should immediately freeze and cancel your credit or debit card if they do. 

“I think with anytime your information's been stolen, that may be a time to update your passwords on these online accounts and things like that, because you just never know if they’ve got one of your information, or they get a password," said White. 

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office is asking you to check your bank statement if you're a customer of the DeKalb Jackson Water District. 

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