What Not to Do With Your Bank Account

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Bank accounts are no joke. They hold very private information that if not treated carefully can lead to some real financial headaches. Banks know this and as a result take extra precautions when they see something suspicious – however, many people still make detrimental mistakes that can really hinder their finances.

I asked a former bank associate what kinds of mistakes people would make with their accounts and she had several fascinating stories. What surprised her most of all was that many times these mistakes were easily avoidable yet they happened all too often. Below you will find a list of things that she suggested you definitely shouldn’t do with your bank accounts.

Balancing The AccountDo Not Deposit a Check You Got in the Mail Without Knowing Who it’s From

Yes, apparently people actually do this very often. It can be very exciting to see a check come in the mail for no reason – after all, who wouldn’t like to see extra money? Unfortunately, many of these checks are a part of huge scam operations that will undoubtedly get your account frozen.

Before depositing any checks makes sure you know who it’s from. No one wants to have their account frozen for fraudulent activity.

Do Not Use Your Debit Card For Things Like Gas

Believe it or not, this bank associate actually gave a very good reason for advocating the use of credit cards: it’s much harder to steal the information. In her experience dealing with identity theft she found that it was much easier for someone to get their PIN stolen than their credit card number. Furthermore, your credit card isn’t directly attached to your checking account and the charges are much easier to dispute.

Do Not Give Out Your Account Information

Common sense? Maybe. But according to this bank associate common sense is not so common when it comes to bank account information. Do not by any means give your bank account information to anybody. If a merchant or service provider requests bank account information – such as the account number – run for the hills.

Do Not Change Your Signature Often

When depositing checks and making transactions bank associates try to match the signature you provide them with what they have on the system (in other words, what you originally signed with). If you change your signature often it not only looks very suspicious (which could in turn get your account frozen), it could also keep you from receiving the funds associated with your deposits.

Do Not Deposit Checks With Out Knowing If the Funds Are Available

Guess what – if you deposit a check that bounces you will get slapped with a nice fee. The bank’s reasoning behind this outrageous charge? You should have known better.

If you have several checks to deposit – say from a wedding or a birthday – you can avoid this scenario by cashing the checks at the other person’s bank instead of yours. That way if anything was to go wrong –like the check bounced -you have cashed it against their account and kept your bank out of it, thus avoiding the need to charge you a fee.

By keeping these things in mind you will avoid some of the headaches and fees that come with banking. All it takes is a little common sense.

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