Information provided by Barbara Boustead, Mary’s Daughter, LLC
6709 Raymond Road, Suite 198
Madison, WI 53719
Taking care of your money and identity can be a daunting task. Luckily, SAIL connected with Barbara Boustead of Mary’s Daughter, LLC, a SAIL Vendor, who offered some very helpful advice! Barbara is an experienced Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and Daily Money Manager (DMM) whose professional career has spanned over 40 years. She is an active member of the American Association of Daily Money Managers, a membership organization comprised of individuals who provide daily money management services to their clients.
Barbara is the founder of Mary’s Daughter, LLC. Per their website, the company provides daily money management services for seniors and veterans and is dedicated to reducing stress and providing peace of mind. Barbara founded the company in response to her social work background and experiences organizing her mother Mary’s medical, legal, and financial documents. Learn more about the company here.
With the economic turmoil caused by COVID-19, Barbara has some great recommendations for making sure your finances and identity stay safe as the world around us changes.
Scams and Identity Theft
We know scams are always alive and well, but COVID-related scams could be harder to spot. Some examples that have been seen lately are people pretending to be in need because of having the virus, fake charities, vaccine or testing scams, and scams targeting Social Security benefits. Identity theft is also rampant whenever there is an economic downturn.
Here are some ways to protect yourself:
- Carefully check your financial accounts and billing statements for suspicious activity or purchases you didn’t make.
- Get your credit report from the three major credit bureaus. You can find choices for services that can monitor your credit for you at this link.
- Don’t share numbers or passwords for bank account, Social Security, or credit card information with anyone you don’t know and trust.
- Do not pay upfront for a promised prize.
- After hearing a sales pitch, take time to compare prices.
- Watch out for deals that are “only good today” or pressure you to act quickly.
- Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry by clicking here or calling 1-888-382-1222.
- Trust your gut. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Many of us choose to take our money to a bank and conduct transactions in-person with a teller. Online banking, however, is becoming more popular as more people are social distancing and staying indoors.
Your current bank likely offers online banking options, which can include deposits from your mobile phone, transfers, automatic bill pay, and more. These are typically available for no extra charge and can save you time and trips out of the house. Call your financial institution or visit their website for information on the various services you can receive online.
To set up an online bank account, you can call a representative at your bank, or follow these steps:
- Gather your account numbers
- Go to your bank or credit union’s website, and follow the prompts to create an online account.
- You will answer some questions to prove it’s really you, set up a username and password, and establish your security preferences. Be sure to establish strong passwords and do not use the same password for all accounts. You can learn more about this through this publication.
Once your bank confirms you have your online account set up, you’ll be able to use it for numerous services! Most banks also have apps you can download on your mobile device for quick and easy access.
Even after you set up your online banking, you’ll still have the option to visit your bank in person or drive-thru for your banking needs. You can also use checks and get paper statements if you wish.
Keeping your money safe
To keep your accounts safe, make sure to do the following for your bank, CPA, insurance agent, financial advisor, and anyone else who helps you handle your finances:
- Set up alerts: You can set up alerts to come to your phone or e-mail address about suspicious activity, low balances, and more.
- Keep up with your balances. You can check your balance as often as you’d like once you’re set up with online banking.
- Touch base with your banking team. Make sure your financial team has all of your current contact information, and make sure you are up to date on their COVID-19 practices.
For up-to-date information on banking, insurance, credit reports, loans, investing, and much more, visit www.bankrate.com.
Barbara Boustead at Mary’s Daughter, LLC is always available to help answer your questions and get affairs in order for yourself or someone you love. They can be contacted at 608-515-4083 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, Barbara, for all of your advice!