You Are Being Targeted by Financial Fraudsters.
Do I have your attention?
I recently had the pleasure of attending Assante’s National Wealth Management Conference in Las Vegas, NV. Assante’s annual conference attended by top advisors to network, share best practice insights, and attend training sessions given by experts in various business categories.
The session that inspired this article was delivered by Troy Pugh; a Red Cell Team Leader for IBM. Troy’s area of expertise is Fraud and Financial Crimes. His session was both eye opening, and frightening. Financial crime operations are calculated, sophisticated and professionally run. The people trying to defraud you see this as their full-time job, and they take it very seriously.
Fraud and financial crime by financial fraudsters are dramatically on the rise. Current law enforcement tactics seem to be reactive, chasing after bad guys after the crime has been perpetrated; and it‘s not enough to rely on antivirus software. Unfortunately, the developers of such software are a step behind those creating the viruses, they have to be. How can you develop the cure for an illness that hasn’t been discovered yet?
You Are the First Line of Defense against Financial Fraudsters
This is both good and bad. It’s good because there is an element of control. Bad because unless you know what to look out for you can be victimized even if you think you are being careful.
The tactics used by financial fraudsters to procure your information are Trojan horse style. They disguise their message to make you think you are giving your info to a trusted person or entity.
Phishing (fish´ing) is where a financial fraudster will send you an email, falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to fool you into providing your private information that they can use to steal your identity.
A Phishing email will direct you to a website where you will be asked to “update” your personal information, such as a password, credit card, social security number, or bank account numbers. Although this website may appear to be legitimate, it is a copy of the real one and set up only to steal the information you enter on the page.
Here’s an example of what Financial Fraudsters could send you through your email:
Subject: Update your credit card information right away
Date: August 22, 2014
|Dear Verizon Customer,|
|We’re sorry, we were unable to charge your credit card associated with your account.|
|To avoid a possible reactiovation fee, please update your credit card information right away.|
|Follow instruction below:|
|Your Verizon Team|
How to avoid becoming a phishing scam victim.
- Be sceptical about all emails that you receive asking for you to click a link in order to provide information. Most large companies and banks will not request your personal information via email.
- Never follow a link from an email. Always enter the URL manually.
- If in doubt call the person or company who sent you the email to verify its legitimacy. Don’t use the (800) number in the email itself, it will likely be fake too.
Check back again soon for the next instalment of the Fraud and Financial Crimes series, where I’ll provide details about more types of fraudulent attacks and how to avoid becoming a victim.
This material is provided for general information and is subject to change without notice. Every effort has been made to compile this material from reliable sources however no warranty can be made as to its accuracy or completeness. Before acting on any of the above, please make sure to see me for individual financial advice based on your personal circumstances. The opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Assante Capital Management Ltd.