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FDIC Consumer News Features Tips on Protecting Assets

Date: March 5, 2018

It's always important for consumers to save money for their future, keep banking and borrowing costs down, and guard their possessions from high-tech thieves in today's digital world. The Winter 2018 FDIC Consumer News includes information about:

  • Five things to know about safe deposit boxes and home safes for protecting valuables. Among the tips: bank safe deposit boxes are good choices to store originals of key documents, such as birth certificates and property deeds, but probably not the right choice if quick access is a must. Also, people are better off stashing their cash in a bank deposit account, like a savings account or certificate of deposit, than in a home safe or a safe deposit box, where the money isn't protected by FDIC insurance.
  • Guarding against criminals who place hidden recording devices at or near automated teller machines (ATMs) and retailer checkout registers. These devices can "skim" (steal) credit and debit card account numbers and personal identification numbers (PINs) to commit fraud or theft.
  • How new standards for credit reporting may help consumers improve credit scores and qualify for loans under more favorable terms. One example is that unpaid medical debts will not appear as negative information on a consumer's credit report until those debts are at least 180 days past due.

This edition of the newsletter also provides information about the increasing use of mobile phones for banking transactions and to pay for just about anything from anywhere. Another article discusses how appraisals, which are often required when consumers apply for a mortgage to buy or refinance a home, can help borrowers as well as lenders.

The newsletter also notes that the FDIC is celebrating National Consumer Protection Week (March 4-10, 2018) by posting questions and answers on different banking topics during the week, plus additional consumer tips and information for reference year-round, at www.fdic.gov/ncpw.

The Winter 2018 FDIC Consumer News can be read or printed by visiting www.fdic.gov/consumers/consumer/news/cnwin18, with e-reader and portable audio (MP3) versions forthcoming. Additionally, in the coming weeks, a Spanish-language version will be posted at www.fdic.gov/quicklinks/spanish.html.

About FDIC Consumer News

The goal of FDIC Consumer News is to deliver timely, reliable and innovative tips and information about financial matters, free of charge. To find current and past issues, visit https://www.fdic.gov/consumernews, or request paper copies by contacting the FDIC's Public Information Center in writing at 3501 North Fairfax Drive, Room E-1002, Arlington, VA 22226, by emailing publicinfo@fdic.gov, or toll-free at 1-877-275-3342.To receive an email about each new issue of the quarterly FDIC Consumer News with links to stories, go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html.

The FDIC encourages financial institutions, government agencies, consumer organizations, educators, the media, and anyone else to help make the tips and information in FDIC Consumer News widely available. The publication may be reprinted in whole or in part without permission. Please credit FDIC Consumer News. Organizations also may link to or mention the FDIC website.

# # #

Congress created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation in 1933 to restore public confidence in the nation's banking system. The FDIC insures deposits at the nation's banks and savings associations, 5,670 as of December 31, 2017. It promotes the safety and soundness of these institutions by identifying, monitoring and addressing risks to which they are exposed. The FDIC receives no federal tax dollars—insured financial institutions fund its operations.

FDIC press releases and other information are available on the Internet at www.fdic.gov, by subscription electronically (go to www.fdic.gov/about/subscriptions/index.html) and may also be obtained through the FDIC's Public Information Center (877-275-3342 or 703-562-2200). PR-17-2018

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