Catching Credit Card Thieves Before They Cash Out


How cool would it be if you could get an alert any time somebody was trying to fraudulently use your credit card account?  Well guess what?  That technology already exists.   You just need to turn it on.

Hi, I’m John Sileo and we’re bringing you this episode of Sileo On Security from Opryland, Tennessee.  So what are account alerts?  An account alert is when your credit card company or your bank alerts you if there’s been any action on your account whether you’re spending on your credit card or transferring money/withdrawing money from your account.  That way if it’s fraudulent you know it right away and if it’s legitimate you don’t have to do anything about it.

Why do account alerts even matter?  Well, first of all, they let you know automatically, without you doing any extra work if someone is spending on a credit card that’s not you, that’s not legitimate.  If they’re transferring out of your bank account or withdrawing out of your bank account when it’s not you or if they’re transferring between accounts.  So you get an automatic alert anytime it’s legitimate and anytime it is illegitimate, and it’s those illegitimate ones that you shut down immediately by calling your bank.

Setting up an account alert is simple.

Number one: you go to the website of the bank or credit card company you’re setting it up with.  So let’s say it’s

Number two: in their search toolbar you’re typing the words “account alert” or “account alerts” and it will take you to that page on any good banking or credit card website where you can automatically set up those alerts, where it explains it to you.

Number three: when you set up your alert, set it for a threshold that makes sense.  For me, I set it up for a dollar and above.  If somebody spends a dollar or above I get an automatic alert.  I get a text so that I see it on my phone right away when it happens.

My challenge to you right now is to go and set up one account alert on your most valuable account whether that’s a bank account, a credit card account or an investment account.  Go in and Google the words “account alert” or “account alerts” (in quotes) and then the URL address of that bank or credit card company.  If it’s Bank of America, put in “” and (in quotes) “account alerts” so that you go directly to the page where they tell you how to set it up for that specific account.

All data protection isn’t about prevention; some of it is simply about detecting the fraud very quickly and shutting it down very quickly.  That’s exactly what automatic account alerts do.  They shut it down before the thief has time to spend large amounts of money in your name.  For Sileo on Security here in Nashville, Tennessee, thank you so much.  We’ll see you on the next episode.

John Sileo is an an award-winning author and keynote speaker on identity theft, internet privacy, fraud training & technology defense. John specializes in making security entertaining, so that it works. John is CEO of The Sileo Group, whose clients include the Pentagon, Visa, Homeland Security & Pfizer. John’s body of work includes appearances on 60 Minutes, Rachael Ray, Anderson Cooper & Fox Business. Contact him directly on 800.258.8076.