How to protect yourself from financial theft

Recently a friend of mine lost her purse and phone in a petrol station. She did not notice anything particular so it was thought that she misplace it. These days, it's hard to find stranger to lend you a phone call when you need. Finally, it was few hours later when she managed to call the banks to cancel her cards.

Turns out the thief have cracked the bank card pin by trial and error, withdraw the maximum, increase the daily maximum limit to the max (with the ID number and phone), and transfer out all remaining balance after withdrawing the daily maximum. It only takes them less than 30 min action time to steal RM17,000.

If that is not scary enough, banks will not be responsible for your credit card lost, and your card may be charged more than what you have in your bank + you can't get notification without your phone.

While I think it's too much to pay for credit purchase insurance, there are certain free action that everyone should take in setting up a good financial safety net apart from having emergency savings:

The basics

1. Keep a wallet list: Note down what you have on your wallet. So that you know which bank to call, what card to replace, what information to change if you lost your wallet. 

2. Never set your pin related to your personal identification number. Random pin number are best if you can remember it. MUST DO. If you do, reset it today.

3. Put minimal amount on your ATM card. Assign excess cash to e-FDs so withdrawal at ATM is impossible. Online account password may be reset but unless they know your unique username, they can't login.

4. Set daily transaction limit on your daily credit-card and keep your emergency card at home. You are not likely to spend ten of thousands in a day.

5. Remember your credit/debit card crv number (the 3 number behind) and buried the number with paint marker/stretch. At least no one can made online transaction if they get your card.  Do it now

6. Only use paypal or a card with lowest possible limit for online transaction. Especially for new sites.

An extra mile

7. Use a secondary phone and secret email for your higher amount banking related services and never login the email thru any public connection. At least if everything got hacked, your account with the bank is safe. 

8. Use IFTT (If this then that) recipes to auto lock all your phone and financial related with one email/click action. (Unfortunately I think it only works for U.S accounts)

9. Never give out any information from a caller. Always be the one calling back by checking the official contact online and if possible - using another phone. ( Probably a fiction writer here but in near the future, they may lock your phone to connect to their server) 

10. Handle papers with your personal information carefully.