When did you start your career in banking?
Kerri: In November of 1996, I started as a teller at the Merchants Bank location in Goodview. A few years later, I moved to the Operations Department and I’ve been here ever since.
What’s one thing someone can do right now to protect their personal information?
Kerri: Think about where you are storing your personal information. For example, do you know where your birth certificate is or your Social Security card? You should keep paper items somewhere safe and accessible, like a safe deposit box – not in your purse or wallet.
Are there any websites where you’ve used the “save password” option? If so, this could make it easier for fraudsters to figure out your password for other sites. If there are websites you don’t use any more, go out and delete personal information that is saved or stored with that website.
What’s your biggest tip for preventing fraud?
Kerri: Know who you are providing your information to and question if sharing personal information is necessary in every circumstance. For example, a form at a business might ask for your Social Security Number. Is it necessary for you to give them the information or is it on file? Ask. Many times a Social Security Number isn’t required – it is just habit to have on the form for the business.
It’s always important to question if a situation seems too good to be true. If people listened to their gut more often, many of them wouldn’t be facing fraud issues on their account. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
What’s one thing your mom or dad taught you about money?
Kerri: When I was a little kid, I sold produce. I would ask my dad if I should sell something for two “bucks” and he would always tell me that money was not called “bucks” they’re “dollars.” He would say “bucks are deer, not dollars.”
If you won the Powerball, what’s the first thing you would do?
Kerri: I would set up a foundation so that I could continue to do good after I’m gone.
Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?
Kerri: Flowers and produce. I grew up in the garden.
Has being the Security Officer at Merchants affected your life outside of work?
Kerri: My friends tease me all the time about being the “Security Officer.” I’m always thinking about the risks of a possible situation. I am always aware of my surroundings – making sure people see me when I walk outside, being aware of emergency exits in a building, using caution when giving out my personal information and posting on social media. I also think about how I respond to emails…if I don’t know the sender should I delete the email or risk getting a virus or being scammed? I think it is important to be in aware of and in control of your situation.