Details Are Part of Our Difference
Podcast Episode – Meir Statman
With the Recent Events in Ukraine, Should I Make Changes to My Portfolio?
Embracing the Evidence at Anheuser-Busch – Mid 1980s
529 Best Practices
Tag: Identity Theft
In Your Cyber-Corner: Protecting Your Child’s Credit Rating
In Your Cyber-Corner: Protecting Yourself Against Phishing
Phishing. It can happen to almost anyone. Phishing emails try to trick you into clicking on their fraudulent links or attachments, which can inject your computer with malware or otherwise con you into giving away credit card numbers, login credentials and similar personal information.
For example, there’s been a fake email making the rounds lately, posing as an urgent notice from Schwab, and promising the recipient a “Security Benefits Award.” All you have to do (so they say), is click on the link provided and your account will be credited.
Unfortunately, those who fall for phishing schemes are far more likely to lose money than be credited any. Sheriff Schiffer here, with three solid suggestions on how to avoid getting hooked by a phisher.
- Don’t Click. Your first and strongest line of defense is to never click on any links or open any attachments in a phishing email. If you don’t take their bait, they won’t be able to reel you in.
- Don’t Trust. While it’s too bad we must always be on guard, today’s online environment essentially requires it. Rest assured, if Schwab or any other reputable service provider requires follow up from you, this is NOT how they’ll go about requesting it. Be especially wary of:
- Unsolicited emails arriving out of the blue, even if they’re supposedly from a familiar source
- Enticing offers or scary alerts with a sense of urgency; phishers know people tend to throw caution to the wind when greed or fear takes over; they literally bank on it
- Typos, bad grammar or generic salutations; not all phishing emails contain these, but many do
- Do Verify. Believe me, your family, friends and professional alliances would much rather hear from you directly if anything they have supposedly sent to you seems suspicious. It’s always a good idea to be in touch by calling or sending a separate email (don’t hit “reply”), and asking the alleged sender if they really did send it.
A bonus tip: If an email smells “phishy” to you but you’re not sure either way, you should also be able to reach out to your financial advisor or a similar reputable source, asking for extra input. Here at Hill Investment Group, we’re happy to assist our clients with these sorts of questions. It’s in everyone’s best interest if we all join forces against phishers.
Catch Me If You Can
Remember the movie Catch Me If You Can? We were lucky to hear the man who was inspiration for the story at this year’s BAM Alliance National Conference. After spending time in French, Swedish, and American prisons, Frank Abagnale was ultimately offered a job with the FBI where he still works today…over 40 years later. He’s turned down pardons from 3 Presidents because he knows no single piece of paper can possibly wash aways the sins of his past.
Frank offered his perspective on keeping your personal identity safe from fraud, including these items below:
- Shred all mail with a micro cut shredder (Even department store catalogs may contain enough information to be dangerous)
- Don’t use ATM/Debit cards; Only true credit cards from Visa, Mastercard, Amex, etc.
- Never pay by check at any retail merchant
- Use credit monitoring services, and only those that do so in real time from all 3 credit bureaus
- Be careful with pictures on social media. Readily available facial recognition software can help fraudsters find your facebook (and other) accounts in just minutes. Make sure several faces appear in any one picture, or avoid sharing pictures of your face altogether.