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Online banking, bill paying and shopping are conveniences that most people want to enjoy. And most of the time, high-tech transactions are completed quickly and without a glitch. However, just as with other transactions, in a small percentage of cases something goes wrong. The Winter 2009/2010 issue of FDIC Consumer News, published by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, offers 10 ways to protect against theft and errors online. Other timely articles discuss overdraft costs, medical debts and small business financing. Here are examples of the tips and information in the latest newsletter.
Consumers shouldn't open attachments or click on links in unsolicited e-mails from anyone they don't know or otherwise aren't sure about, because doing so can infect computers with "spyware" that enables thieves to record keystrokes, log into accounts and transfer money. Consumers should also watch out for sudden pop-up windows asking for personal information or warning of a virus. This is called "scareware" because it frightens people into providing information or downloading malicious software.On a related matter, FDIC Consumer News notes that banks are increasingly offering customers the convenience of depositing paper checks over the Internet using a scanner or cell phone. While this service is mostly marketed to businesses, consumers also can benefit, especially if they receive a lot of checks and find it inconvenient to go to their local branch or ATM.
The goal of FDIC Consumer News is to deliver timely, reliable and innovative tips and information about financial matters, free of charge. The Winter edition can be read or printed at www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnwin0910. To order up to two free paper copies, use the online form on that same Web page or call the Federal Citizen Information Center toll-free at 1-888-8-PUEBLO (1-888-878-3256) weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time and ask for Department 97.To find current and past issues, including special editions, visit www.fdic.gov/consumernews or request paper copies by contacting the FDIC's Public Information Center toll-free at 1-877-275-3342, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by writing to the FDIC Public Information Center, 3501 North Fairfax Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226.There are two ways to subscribe to the quarterly FDIC Consumer News. To receive an e-mail about each new issue with links to stories, go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html. To receive the newsletter in the mail, free of charge, contact the Public Information Center as listed above.The FDIC encourages financial institutions, government agencies, consumer organizations, educators, the media and anyone else to help make the tips and information in FDIC Consumer News widely available. The publication may be reprinted in whole or in part without advance permission. Organizations also may link to or mention the FDIC Web site.
Last Updated 3/15/2010
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