The Dangers of Unused Bank Accounts & How to Close Them

    How to Close bank accounts

    If you’re like most people, you’ve likely got at least a few unused bank accounts floating around. However, there may be financial and security dangers associated with keeping these unused bank accounts active. Keep on reading to learn why it’s a good idea to shut these accounts down, the dangers that come with leaving them open, and how to safely close them.

    Security risks of unused bank accounts

    • Fraud exposure: Unused bank accounts can become targets for fraud. Closing these accounts minimizes the risk.
    • Avoidance of fees: Many banks charge maintenance fees for inactive accounts. Closing unused accounts prevents the accumulation of such fees, helping you save money in the long run.
    • Unauthorized access: Inactive accounts may be vulnerable to hacking/unauthorized access, especially if not regularly monitored. Closing them ensures that your financial information remains secure.
    • Identity theft: Inactive accounts may contain personal information that could be exploited by identity thieves. Closing these accounts reduces the likelihood of your sensitive data falling into the wrong hands.
    • Unauthorized transactions: Neglected accounts may be vulnerable to fraudulent transactions. Closing them mitigates this risk and protects your funds.

    How to close a bank account securely

    • Review and consolidate: Evaluate all your accounts, identify unused ones, and consolidate funds into active accounts to streamline your finances.
    • Update automatic payments: Ensure all recurring payments and direct deposits are linked to active accounts, preventing disruptions in transactions.
    • Clear pending transactions: Wait for pending transactions to clear before closing any accounts to avoid potential overdraft fees and ensure a smooth closure.
    • Visit the bank in person: Whenever possible, personally visit the bank branch to close the account, bringing the necessary identification and documentation.
    • Follow bank procedures: Adhere to the bank’s closure procedures, including filling out required forms, providing identification, and settling any outstanding fees.

    For other online banking safety tips, click here.

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