Financial health is the foundation of strong and resilient households, communities, and economies, but understanding and managing finances continue to be a challenge for many. With the new year underway, Chase is reminding its customers to prioritize financial health by offering tips for securing a financial future they can feel good about. We sat down with Diana Holmes, Chase Community Manager in New Orleans, to discuss setting and protecting goals for a successful financial journey.
New Orleans Tribune: What are some key steps consumers can take to boost their overall financial health in 2022?
Diana Holmes: Managing your money can be complicated, which is why breaking down your finances into smaller buckets can help you get ahead with your short- and long-term goals. We encourage our customers to prioritize the following:
• Set and maintain a budget to help you feel more in control and spend less than you earn. We have an online tool for our customers called Budget Planner that enables you set your budget, track your spending, and adjust it day-to-day.
• Grow your savings and have money set aside in an emergency fund for all of life’s unexpected surprises. This can help create peace of mind by knowing you have yourself covered. With Chase Autosave, you can choose when and how often you want to transfer money from your Chase checking account to your Chase savings account – starting with as little as $1 per day.
• Build your credit (and credit score) by paying your bills on time (every time). With Chase Credit Journey, users can easily understand and monitor their credit score with actionable insights around building credit health.
• Meet 1:1 with a banker. For a more personal planning process, we recommend working with an advisor who understands everything from your big goals to the small details. You can schedule an appointment by visiting chase.com/meeting.
Tribune: In terms of financial health and safety, how can consumers protect themselves from scams?
Holmes: It seems like scammers are always busy, especially during difficult times like the pandemic. Some have targeted stimulus checks and unemployment benefits. It’s crucial to recognize activity designed to steal your money. Here are some best practices to protect yourself from scammers:
• Educate yourself on the most common scams. Fraudsters will use anything to their advantage — claiming to be from the IRS, pretending to offer tech support, baiting you with prizes or cash winnings — the sky’s the limit!
• Monitor credit score for free with Chase Credit Journey — you don’t even need to be a Chase customer to sign up! It will notify you if your data is compromised. Plus, you’ll receive critical alerts that help protect your credit and identity.
• Review your accounts closely if you believe you may have fallen for a scam. With Chase, you can also set up account alerts so you can be notified of transactions on your account.
• Click on suspicious links on emails or texts unless you’re sure it’s from a credible source. Only access your accounts through the bank’s mobile app or their website.
• Share personal information. Neither Chase nor any other bank will ever ask for your username, password, ATM pin, etc. when reaching out to you. Banks may ask for this information only when you call to discuss your account.
• Transfer money to someone claiming to be from your bank. Banks will never ask to send money via wire, check or other method to “stop or prevent fraud.”
• Pay someone using gift cards, especially when they claim to need them to remove a virus from your computer, stop fraud on your account or to buy plane tickets to come visit you
If you believe that you may have been a victim of fraud or scams, there’s no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed. It can happen to anyone. What’s most important is to take immediate action.
First, contact your bank, credit card issuer or local law enforcement to report the fraud or scam; they’ll be able to tell you the best way to proceed. If you have any questions, visit your local Chase branch. We are always happy to answer questions from our customers.
To learn more about common scams and how to stop scammers in their tracks visit: www.chase.com/security-tips. You can also learn tips to identify and avoid financial abuse by visiting: www.chase.com/financialabuse.
Sponsored content from JPMorgan Chase & Co.