It's Fraud Season: Protect Yourself

by Stacy Tharp 25. July 2014

Who doesn't love summertime at its prime? Long bright days, cheerful singing birds, crab feasts with family and friends, and of course a spike in crime. Summer is an especially big season for debit card fraud. Our security team works hard to prevent you from becoming a victim of debit card fraud so that even if your wallet is lost or stolen, no one else is able to make purchases on your card. It’s equally important that you take action to help protect yourself. Here is a list of things you should do to help protect yourself from being a victim of debit card fraud:

1) Use your debit card often.

If you use your debit card for the majority of your purchases, we’ll be able to get a good sense of your normal spending patterns. If you only use your debit card once in a blue moon, it becomes more difficult to know whether an attempted transaction may be fraudulent.

2) Alert us when you will be out of town.

Most people know to alert their bank when they are leaving the country, or even the state. But even if you are going to Ocean City for the weekend, this may be considered abnormal for you. It’s easy to alert us of a trip, simply give us a call, email a customer service representative or stop in your local branch.

3) Make sure we have your correct phone number(s).

If we think there has been unusual activity on your debit card, the first thing we’ll do is call you to find out whether or not it was you who made the purchase. If we cannot get in touch with you, we’d rather be safe than sorry, and we temporarily shut down your card so transactions cannot be completed. Call a customer service representative or stop in your local branch to verify or update your phone number.

4) Be smart about your personal identification number (PIN).

Do not choose something that is easy for others to guess, such as your birthday. Do not share your PIN with anyone and do not keep the number in your wallet.

5) Store your debit card in a secure place.

A card holder in your wallet is a good place to keep your debit card because that makes it difficult to fall out. If you keep your debit card loose in your pocket, it can easily fall out without you noticing when you pull out your keys or phone (this goes for cash too!).

6) Monitor your debit card transactions.

Use Online Banking and/or Mobile Banking to monitor your transactions. If you have debit cards with multiple banks, use Mariner360 to monitor all of your transactions in one place. If you notice any transactions that you did not authorize, contact us immediately.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Things to Do before You Leave the Country

How Identity Thieves Steal Your Information

5 Mobile Banking Security Tips

8 Things Baltimoreans Like to Do on the 4th of July

by Stacy Tharp 30. June 2014

Independence Day is a national holiday, and one that celebrates our beautiful nation. But if you live in Baltimore, we celebrate the day a little differently. If you’re new to Baltimore or coming to visit for the holiday and want to fit right in, this list is for you. Here are the top 8 ways Baltimore does the 4th of July.

1) Have a Crab Feast

Have some friends and family over and pick up a bushel of steamed crabs – jumbo of course, after all, this is a celebration! Don’t forget to pick up some crab mallets. True crab-picking pros can crack open a claw with their teeth, but there’s no shame in using a mallet. Dental work is expensive. Rookies will fail to pick up some extra Old Bay®, thinking that since the crabs are already submerged with the stuff, there is plenty to go around. Don’t underestimate just how much Old Bay® us Baltimoreans require! Also, steamed crabs are not an appetizer nor are they a side dish. Get your steamed crabs, grill up some corn on the cob and you’ve got yourself a complete and satisfying Baltimore meal.

2) Drink Your Natty Bohs and Orange Crushes

If you don’t know what either of these refreshing adult beverages are, you’d better learn NOW if you have any chance of fitting in here in Baltimore. Although the beer is no longer brewed here in Baltimore, we still have Mr. Boh watching over our town. And Orange Crushes…just yum. ‘Nuff said.

3) Join in the Local Celebration at the Inner Harbor:

Baltimorean or not, everyone fits in and has a good time at Baltimore’s Ports America Chesapeake Fourth of July Celebration at the Inner Harbor. Bring the whole family and enjoy live music, good food and a fantastic fireworks show.

4) Enjoy the Fireworks from Your Rooftop Deck:

For those locals who want to see the Inner Harbor fireworks but don’t want to deal with the crowds, head over to that friend’s house. You know which friend I’m talking about, the one with the rooftop deck. Don’t know anyone with a rooftop deck? Looks like you only have a few days left to make a new friend!

5) Go Downee Ocean, Hon!

For those new to Baltimore, you might be confused about what I just said there. “Go downee ocean, hon” translates to “Go to Ocean City.” If you’re with a group of adults and don’t mind a crowd, spend the day at Seacrets. Stay the evening for a great view of the fireworks. Or bring the family and head to the boardwalk. Here’s a tip to make sure you fit in: you are at the ocean, not the shore. This isn’t New Jersey (no offense to New Jersey).

6) Go to an O's Game

Although the Orioles will be out of town beating the Red Sox on July 4th, you can start your Independence Day festivities a night early rooting for our O’s at the July 3rd game against the Rangers at Camden Yards. You have to stay ‘til the end to enjoy the fireworks show.

7) Don't Forget the Berger Cookies

What are Berger Cookies? Pure bliss. More specifically, they are shortbread cookies piled and piled and piled some more with chocolate fudge. Wondering how Maryland doesn’t rank higher on the state obesity scale? Me too. These Baltimore cookies may not be the healthiest, but man do they taste amazing. And do you see what I’ve just done for you? Take #1, #2 and #7, put them together and you’ve got yourself a nice well-rounded Baltimore meal.

8) Reveal Your Maryland Flag Pride

Maryland has the coolest state flag in the country (source: all the people that live in Maryland), which is why we aren’t shy about showing it off. While people around the nation generally don their red, white and blue on Independence Day, many Marylanders take this day as an opportunity to show off their state flag pride. You can find the Maryland state flag design on shirts, shorts, sunglasses, towels, belts…I could go on, but I won’t. Bottom line: find a piece of Maryland flag apparel and you’ll fit right in here.

If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out these related articles:

Top 10 Free Things to Do in Baltimore This Summer

6 Things to Do in Baltimore to Cool Off

4th of July Fun Facts and More

Father's Day Gifts He'll Actually Use

by Stacy Tharp 11. June 2014

Father's Day

If your father is anything like mine, when asked what he wants for Father’s Day, he’ll reply, “I could use more socks.” No, Dad, I’m not going to get you socks. Instead, take matters into your own hands. Get him a unique gift based on one of his hobbies or interests – that way you know he’ll put it to good use! Here are some examples:

For the Dad with Baltimore Pride:

If there’s one thing that all Baltimore dads have in common, it’s that they can’t get enough Old Bay®. Help your dad season his crabs, shrimp, fries, eggs, pizza, etc. with style with this Old Bay Crab Feast 2 Piece Set. Throw some of these Old Bay® Seasoned Virginia Peanuts on the side (or make your own Old Bay® concoction!) and you’ve got yourself a nicely themed gift for your Baltimore dad.

For the Baltimore Techie:

If your dad spends a lot of time by the computer, get him something useful that also allows him to show off his Baltimore pride, such as a crab-themed wireless mouse. Or if your father always has at least one eye on his mobile phone, how about a crab-themed iPhone case? You could also go for the DIY approach with a hand print crab. It’s shown here on a T-shirt, but you could do the same thing on a mouse pad or anything else!

For the Golfer:

If you’re looking for a nicer gift (possibly a group gift), consider the Garmin Approach® S1. This sport watch features a GPS which can measure individual shot distances and track how far you walk on the course. Also check out the other Approach® models for different features.

If you’re looking for a golf-themed gift that’s a little bit easier on the wallet, golfer dads could always use more of their favorite golf balls or golf gloves. Add a personal touch by creating a basket of all of his favorite items on the green: golf balls, tees, snacks, drinks, sunscreen, etc. Or this DIY golf tee porcupine is a great gift from the kids.

For the Grill Master:

No matter how much your dad enjoys grilling, no one likes cleaning up afterwards. This Grand Grill Daddy Platinum Steam Cleaning Grill Brush makes cleanup a breeze. If you’re looking to spend less, how about a BBQ wing rack, a seafood grill rack, or even a jalapeno popper grilling rack? Round out the gift with your dad’s favorite rub or barbeque sauce, or make your own homemade sauce.

If your dad doesn’t fall into one of these categories, choose a hobby he does enjoy and I’m confident you can come up with a creative gift that he will love! You can view our Pinterest board for more ideas.

If you found this article useful, be sure to check out these related articles:

Tricks to Throwing  Budget-Friendly Barbeque

Last Minute Mother's Day Gifts

The Cheap Guide to Father's Day in Baltimore



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