Crime Alert: Protect your finances over the holiday season

MEMPHIS, Tenn. --Whether it's buying gifts online or in store, or traveling and eating out, there's a lot of spending over the holiday season.

Stephen Norris is a Region Bank President with Wells Fargo.

He explained, "We usually see increased foot traffic in our branches. When customers withdraw larger sums of cash, they use their debit cards more."

Norris says all of these financial transactions leave the door wide open for crooks to step in.
Here are some simple ways to protect yourself and your money over the holiday season.

Protect Your PIN 

"It sounds simple, but it can really have an impact. When you`re withdrawing cash from the ATM, only follow instructions that are on the ATM screen."

Norris says ATMS with skimmers might look different.

Consumers definitely want to pay close attention when using unfamiliar ATMS while on the road, or in another bank network.

Alert Your Bank of Travel Plans

Norris said, "It`s always wise to let the bank know. Wells Fargo customers through online banking, can actually turn their debit card on and off, it`s a great feature to help this time of year."

Some banking apps allow customers to set up their own travel plans.

Customers can input information such as travel dates and mobile phone numbers.

That way the bank knows it's actually the customer making purchases outside his or her normal area.

Monitor Your Account Closely

"If you can review your account on a daily basis, if you see unauthorized transactions, or anything that you`re not familiar with, the sooner you can let us know, the better."