The number of Americans impacted by financial fraud has increased every year since 2014, and security experts predict it will only become more common.

More than 16 million Americans were victims of fraud last year, resulting in almost $17 billion of losses for U.S. consumers, according to a study by Javelin Strategy & Research. As tactics used by fraudsters advance, it’s become harder for the average consumer to identify a scam when they see one.

It’s no surprise, then, that fraud protection was the service most valued by bank customers in a survey conducted for MONEY by market research firm Morning Consult. Eighty percent of Americans rated fraud protection as “very important,” more than any other feature.

Yet, the simplest and most effective way to protect yourself from bank fraud isn’t necessarily something provided by your bank. Instead, it’s about educating yourself.

Read More