Financial Scams

Just as technology advances, so do the tools cybercriminals use to target people’s savings. Wire fraud, identity theft, and email scams continue to threaten security and are growing in number and sophistication. At the time of this writing, criminals are using the heightened fear around COVID-19 to steal email credentials through scams that appear legitimate and urgent—most notably, through phishing. The characteristics of a phishing email often do not play on fear and urgency, but may:

  • Ask for credentials, personal or financial information
  • Use an unfamiliar greeting
  • Come from a suspicious email address
  • Contain spelling or grammar errors

A few best practices:

  • Choose unique passwords
  • Utilize multi-factor authentication
  • Protect their devices from malware
  • Don’t open email attachments from people they don’t recognize
  • Keep operating systems and antivirus software up to date
  • Be cautious when installing new applications

In addition to phishing, there are a few common types of scams. Some of the most common:

  • Impostor (pretending to be someone you know, friend or family or posing as the IRS)
  • Foreign money (the widows, princes and princesses who want to share their wealth with you if you would only grant them access to your banking information)
  • Prize/sweepstakes/lottery (Ever won a lottery you don’t remember playing? A “free” vacation you didn’t apply for? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.)

The bottom line, criminals would love to separate you from your assets. They do not discriminate but seniors are particularly vulnerable.  Please be vigilant, talk to your friends and family (especially seniors) and make sure they are taking appropriate steps to safeguard their accounts.  If anything strikes you as abnormal or you have questions about a phone call/email you received that seems out of the ordinary please do not hesitate to call someone and inquire. Ask your family, friends or if needed we are here to help you.

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