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2023 Winning Scholarship Essay

2023 Winning Scholarship Essay

Aubrey Holmes - Fremont High School
Student Scholarship

It was announced that over 5.88 million fraud reports were accounted for in the year of 2021.  Were you one of those 5.88 million cases?  Bank scams, Telephone scams, Census related fraud, Investment scams, etc.  What about an abnormal charge on either a checking or savings account?  Fraud happens more than it is talked about, and it just so happens to be one of the most dangerous acts that a person can encounter.

I am 18 years old and have been a member at the Gerber Federal Credit Union for about 3 years now. My experience being a member has been nothing but successful. From saving and spending, not having financially secure accounts has been something I never worried about while being a member at Gerber Federal Credit Union. However, I have always been aware of and conscious of fraud and its vigorously negative impacts.

Fraud is so menacing because most often it happens quietly. Individuals may not be aware of the fact that someone else has their information until it’s too late. This is exactly why you should always be aware of fraud and take precautions into the idea of an incident occurring. One way I recommend you follow through with this intake of information is to have an easy way of logging into your banking information. For example, a mobile banking app. Mobile banking apps allow you to save your banking account information, and log in whenever and however many times you need. Keeping a prominent eye on your bank accounts is an easy way to catch fraud. Abnormal charges on your account could often mean someone else has access to your banking information. Being able to catch this early on is extremely important, and it will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Another way that an individual can inhibit your information is through important documents. How many important documents have you just thrown in the garbage can? Identity thieves love the trash. They look for specific things like credit card or bank statements. A simple way of preventing something like this from occurring is to shred any important documents regarding your banking information, canceled checks, tax records or W-2 forms, and even shipping labels.
One last and easy way to protect yourself against fraud is to always be cautious of what and from where you are buying online. Sketchy websites are filled with fraudsters and scammers waiting for an individual to make one wrong purchase. Always make sure you are buying from reliable sources.You don't want to put your important banking information into a site you are unconfident about. If you are wanting to make a purchase from a website and you are unsure of its reliability, do some reasonable research.

Fraud touches every aspect of our lives. The experiencing of financial and emotional harm is something we should always prevent. Teaching others and bringing utmost awareness in regards to fraud is crucial.