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Fraud Prevention and Cybersecurity Tips

Follow these tips to help protect yourself from fraud and identity theft.

Protect your accounts

Identity protection

  • Store your Social Security card, passport, green card, financial documents, and unused credit, debit, or ATM cards in a secure location.
  • Never provide your personal or financial information to anyone 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 If you see an issue with your credit report, you can request a security freeze with the reporting companies until you resolve the issue.
  • Monitor your credit and set up credit monitoring alerts with Credit Close-Up®.
  • Help protect against child identity theft by limiting the type of information shared with schools and organizations.

Account and card security

  • Immediately report lost or stolen ATM, debit card, credit card, checks, or account numbers.
  • Monitor your transactions regularly. Set up alerts so you can be notified if anyone makes a purchase or withdrawal on your account. If you spot suspicious or unauthorized charges, report them right away.
  • Keep your contact information up to date so we can reach you if we detect unusual activity on your account.
  • 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 checks, debit, ATM, and credit cards in a 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 or shred and discard your old card.
  • If you misplace your card, turn it off temporarily and back on when you find it.
  • Use a digital wallet to make purchases in stores, in-app and online. Digital wallets replace your actual card number with a unique digital card number. This means businesses cannot see or store your full card number.
  • If you're concerned about Radio Frequency identification (RFID) and skimming, consider using an RFID wallet.

PIN protection for debit and ATM cards

  • When choosing a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for your ATM or debit card, don't use a number or word that appears in your wallet, such as name, birth date, or phone number. If you forgot your PIN or want to change it, follow these instructions.
  • Don't share your card's PIN with anyone or provide it through 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

  • Create a unique username and password for your Wells Fargo accounts and don't use any part of your email address. For your password, use an uncommon phrase that includes a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters, for example: Iliketogive99!Presents. The longer the password, the better. To change your username or password, sign on.
  • Protect your online passwords. Don’t write them down or share them with anyone, including family or friends. Don't store your banking password or other sensitive information on your device. 
  • Use biometric authentication so you don't have to remember your password and you can conveniently access your accounts.
  • Some browsers and smartphones allow you to save your username and password, commonly known as AutoSave or AutoFill. We recommend you disable this feature for Wells Fargo Online® and the Wells Fargo Mobile® app if you share your device so others can't access your accounts.
  • Activate 2-Step Verification at Sign-On for an additional layer of security when you sign on to online or mobile banking by having Wells Fargo send an access code to a device, such as your mobile phone.
  • Don't access your financial accounts through public Wi-Fi networks, such as those available in coffee shops or airports.
  • 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. Learn how to spot an online shopping scam.
  • Always sign off from any website after you make a purchase 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. Set your social media profile to private and restrict your contacts to people you know personally. Review more social media tips.

Email and text message

  • If you receive a suspicious email or text message, don’t respond, select any links, or open attachments. Don’t sign on to your account from a link in a suspicious message. Learn how to spot phishing email and text scams.
  • Five-digit short codes are commonly used by companies to send text messages. Add trusted short codes and phone numbers to your contact list so you recognize them when you receive a text. Wells Fargo’s official short codes include: 93557, 93733, 93729, or 93236.
  • Create a unique password for your email account and don't share it with anyone. If scammers gain access to your email account, they may be able to reset your passwords for other websites and lock you out. Wells Fargo password resets are not initiated by email.

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 cannot ensure the security of your information after you download it from our website or servers.
  • If you use a cloud-based service or website to store financial documents, ensure that the site has security features such as required log-in and data encryption denoted by "https" in the address bar.
  • 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 time, which varies by product type. Refer to the Statements & Documents page in online banking for more details.

Online account aggregators

  • Before providing your username and password to third-party websites or apps to access your Wells Fargo information, carefully review the provider’s security and privacy settings and terms of service, as well as our Online Access Agreement. Wells Fargo cannot ensure the security of your information after it becomes accessible through another company’s website or app.
  • Use Connected Apps to view connections to apps such as Xero©, Mint©, and Earnin®.

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.
  • When you’re not using your phone, use the built-in security functions to lock it.
  • Remove all personal data and reset your phone to factory settings before discarding or selling it.
  • If you change your number, sign on to Wells Fargo Online® to update your contact information so we can reach you if we detect unusual account activity.
  • If your phone is lost or stolen, contact your mobile service provider to determine if the mobile service should be shut off. Contact Wells Fargo for assistance with disabling your biometric sign on (Touch ID®, Face ID®, AndroidTM Biometric Sign-On, or Android Fingerprint) or digital wallet.
  • Keep your devices up-to-date, including operating system, anti-virus software, applications, security patches, and browser versions.
  • Secure your home router with a strong password to help protect devices on your network from unauthorized access. Consider a router with Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA3) encryption.

Protect older adults

Elder financial abuse

  • Watch out for fraud and scams that attempt to trick older or vulnerable adults into sending gift cards or money, or giving up personal information or property. These scenarios may include scammers posing as technical support, IRS/Medicare representatives, grandchildren, love interests, or lottery/sweepstakes officials.
  • Encourage older adults to get to know their 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 financial help or unexpected payments.