Fraud Prevention Tips – Wells Fargo

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If you’re looking for additional ways to help protect yourself from fraud, review the tips below.

Protect your accounts

Identity protection

  • Store your Social Security card, financial documents, and unused credit, debit, or ATM cards in a secure location.
  • Never provide your personal or financial information to a caller unless you initiated the call or other communication.
  • Don't send personal or financial information through email or text, as this is typically not secure.
  • Shred documents that contain sensitive information before discarding.
  • Sign up for online billing and financial statements to help reduce the risk of identity theft from stolen paper documents.
  • Review your credit report at least once a year to look for unauthorized accounts that are opened in your name. Receive a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus at

Account and card security

  • Report lost or stolen checks and debit, ATM or credit cards immediately.
  • Monitor your transactions online regularly and report suspicious charges right away.
  • Set up account alerts so you'll be notified of online purchases, ATM withdrawals, when your username is retrieved, and more.
  • Limit the amount of information printed on your checks to your name and address. Don't include your phone number or Social Security number.
  • Always keep your debit, ATM, and credit cards in a safe and secure place.
  • Don't give out your account information over the phone unless you initiated the call using the phone number on the back of your card or the company’s website.
  • If you receive a replacement debit or credit card, cut up and discard your old card.

PIN protection for debit and ATM cards

  • When choosing a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for any card, don't use a number or word that appears in your wallet, such as name, birth date, or phone number.
  • Never share your card's PIN with anyone or provide it though a text message, email, or phone call.
  • Cover the keypad while entering your PIN at an ATM, grocery store, or other locations.
  • Don't write your PIN anywhere, especially on your card.
  • Safely store or securely dispose of your transaction receipts.

Protect yourself online

Online security

  • Use a long password with at least one letter and one number. The longer the password, the harder it is to crack. Consider using an uncommon phrase that’s memorable to you, but not others.

    If want to change your username or password, sign on and select Change Password or Change Username in the menu.
  • Protect your online passwords. Don’t write them down or share them with anyone, including family or friends.
  • Activate 2-Step Verification at Sign-On for an extra layer of protection when you sign on to online or mobile banking by sending a one-time verification code to a device, such as your mobile phone.
  • When shopping online, use secure websites to make purchases. Look for signs of secure transaction, such as a closed-lock icon and “https://...” in the address bar.
  • Always sign off from any website after you purchase anything with your credit or debit card. If you cannot sign off, close your browser to help prevent unauthorized access to your account information.
  • Don't overshare on social media, especially information used by your bank or other companies to verify your identity. Also review the privacy settings for your social media accounts.
  • Review the privacy options for the social media platforms you join to understand how to limit the amount of information you share.

Email and text message

  • Don’t click on links, open attachments, or respond to emails or text messages from suspicious or unknown senders
  • If you receive a suspicious email or text message that appears to be from Wells Fargo and you:

    • Did respond by clicking on a link, opening an attachment or providing personal or financial information, call us immediately at 1-866-867-5568.
    • Didn't respond, forward the email or text message copy (no screenshots) to us at You will receive an automated response.
  • For your security, Wells Fargo may contact you by email, text, or phone regarding your card or account activity. We will only send you a text using one of the official Wells Fargo short codes: 93557, 93733, 93729, or 54687. When Wells Fargo contacts you, we will not ask for your card PIN, access code, or your online banking password. If you are uncomfortable about a request for information, do not respond and instead call the number on the back of your card to verify the authenticity of the request.
  • Protect your email passwords. If scammers gain access to your email account, they can reset your passwords for other websites, locking you out of your own account. Password resets for Wells Fargo Online® are done on the website and don't involve your email account.

Online document storage (Cloud)

  • Before saving financial documents to a third-party, online storage service, carefully review the provider’s security and privacy settings and terms of service, as well as our Online Access Agreement. Wells Fargo can't ensure the security of your information after you download it from our website or servers.
  • Don't store your information on websites that lack security features such as a required sign on, data encryption, https, etc.
  • Storing your financial documents online may make them searchable and accessible to others, exposing your sensitive information. If you need to download a financial document, save it locally on your computer or on a ‎secure storage device.
  • Wells Fargo maintains online statements and tax documents for a period of years, which varies by product type. The amount of time for which the specific product statements are available online is indicated on your Statements & Documents page in online banking.

Protect your devices

Mobile and device security

  • Protect your phone by setting up a PIN with your mobile carrier so no one other than you can make changes to your account or transfer your service to a different mobile phone.
  • Safeguard your phone to help protect your accounts. When you’re not using your phone, use the built-in security functions, like the keypad lock.
  • Don't access your financial accounts through public Wi-Fi networks, such as those available in coffee shops or airports.
  • Delete text messages from your financial institution before lending your phone to anyone. Wipe your phone of all personal data before discarding or selling it.
  • If you lose your phone or change your number, sign on to Wells Fargo Online® to remove the old number from your mobile banking profile.
  • Don't store your banking password or other sensitive information on your computer, smartphone, or in an app where it could be discovered if your device is stolen.
  • When you finish banking online, always sign off - don't simply close the browser or app. For your security, Wells Fargo's mobile apps and online banking site will automatically sign you off after 10 minutes of inactivity.
  • Don't alter, remove carrier restrictions, or "jail break" your phone. This may make your phone vulnerable to malicious software.
  • Avoid downloading programs and apps from unknown sources. Download programs and applications from a trusted source, like your phone’s app store or the manufacturer’s website.
  • Keep security patches, anti-virus and malware software, browser versions, mobile apps, and plugins up to date for your devices.
  • Configure your devices to prevent unauthorized users from remotely accessing your devices or home network. For example, if you use a wireless router for your home internet connection, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations to configure the router with appropriate security settings.
  • We don't recommend using fingerprint authentication or Apple's Face ID® feature to authenticate if you share your phone. When fingerprint authentication is enabled, any person with a saved fingerprint registered on your phone can sign on to the Wells Fargo Mobile® app, view your account information, and complete transactions. For Face ID, if you have family members who look like you, we recommend using your username and password to sign on.

Protect the elderly

Elder financial abuse

  • Watch out for common scams strangers may use to trick elderly individuals into giving up money, personal information, or property. These scenarios may include scammers posing as technical support employees, IRS/Medicare representatives, grandchildren, love interests, or lottery/sweepstakes officials.
  • Know your neighbors and connect frequently with family. Isolation is often a contributing factor to elder financial abuse.
  • Look out for signs of financial abuse by caregivers or relatives, such as requests for unexpected payments.
  • Discover more ways to help protect against elder financial abuse.