Protecting Your Financial Information
The financial services industry is seeing a massive increase in fraudsters, scammers and criminals trying to take advantage of investors. Our industry regulations are designed to combat fraud and protect investors. As a reminder, our office is unable to accept instructions via email. All forms of money movement must be provided and confirmed verbally.
If you believe you have fallen victim of a scam, call your local police at their non-emergency number and consider reporting to the FBI’s IC3 Internet Crime Database.
The following are some of the most common scams and crimes that the FBI encounters, as well as tips to help prevent you from being victimized - https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-scams-and-crimes.
Here are several ways to safeguard your information:
- Avoid using weak PINS and passwords. When deciding PINS, passwords, and other log-in information, avoid using your mother’s maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number or your phone number. Avoid other obvious choices such as a series of consecutive numbers or your home town. Also, do not use the same PINS and passwords on multiple sites.
- Look for secured web pages. Use only secure browsers when shopping online to safeguard your transactions during transmission. Check that the web page url begins with “https.” Most urls being with “http;” the “s” at the end indicates that the site password will be encrypted before being sent to a third-party server. Additionally, look for a “lock” icon in the window of the browser.
- Keep your operating systems up-to-date. High priority updates are critical to the security and reliability of your computer and devices. Updates offer the latest protection against malicious online activities. When your computer and other devices prompt you to conduct an update - do it as soon as possible.
- Update antivirus software and spyware. Keep both your antivirus and your spyware programs updated regularly.
- Make sure your firewall is always on. A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to delete information, crash your computer or steal your passwords and credit card information. Make sure your firewall is always on.
You can contact the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the national consumer reporting agencies for more information on fraud alerts, security freezes and other steps you can take to avoid identity theft:
- Equifax, P.O. Box 105788, Atlanta, Georgia 30348, 1-877-478-7625, equifax.com
- Experian, P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013, 1-888-397-3742, experian.com
- TransUnion, P.O. Box 2000, Chester, PA 19016, 1-800-680-7289, transunion.com
- Federal Trade Commission, Consumer Response Center, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20580, 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357), ftc.gov/idtheft
You may obtain a free copy of your credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com, or by calling toll-free 1-877-322-8228, or by mailing an Annual Credit Report Request Form (available at www.annualcreditreport.com) to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA, 30348-5281. You may also purchase a copy of your credit report by contacting one or more of the three national credit reporting agencies listed above.
If you have any questions relevant to this topic or questions regarding your financial planning and investment strategy needs, please feel free to reach out to our office at 302.234.5655 or firstname.lastname@example.org.