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How to Protect Your Data Thumbnail

How to Protect Your Data

It could have been me.  

One day I received a phone call about a subscription to a magazine I was currently receiving.  There’s been an issue with billing, we just need 2 minutes to straighten things out.  I was in between a million tasks (work, kids, life, etc) and my mind was not completely present.  But I knew I wanted to maintain the subscription so if it would only take a minute then great, this is one thing I can check off my list.  

Then, the questions began and something started to feel off.  After one or two sentences an internal alarm (God Bless it) shouted “Hey JT, focus up, I sense danger.”  I quickly realized that this was not a legitimate phone call and I was being scammed.   Fortunately, I realized this before giving any pertinent information, but it so easily could have been me.

What We Are Seeing

I bring this up and share this message because we have seen an increase in the amount of financial scams taking place.  Fraudulent emails, scam phone calls and obscure pop ups on computer screens are just some of the issues our clients (and employees) have seen.  The bad news is that these fraudsters are getting smarter and these messages are looking even more convincing.

What You Can Do

So we are asking each of you out these to please be on alert.  It is very easy to think it will never happen to me, I will never fall for that.   But as the economy conditions get more difficult people get more desperate.  These attacks happen more frequently.  

Anti-Fraud Checklist

  • Do not click on any email links unless you are 100% certain of the sender
    • Even if you are certain, a text or phone call to that person just to confirm doesn't hurt
  •   If you receive a phone call, make sure you are present in the conversation and wary of any attempts to gain information
    • Example: they might pretend to be a Microsoft employee needing to do some software updates on your computer
  •   If something pops up on your computer, avoid clicking on it unless you are 100% certain
    • Helpful tip: Google the thing you are curious about instead of clicking on an unknown link
  • Use a password manager to create and store hard-to-guess passwords 
  • Avoid using public wi-fi while viewing sensitive information

It is always better to verify ahead of time than try to recover afterwards.  Stay vigilant!

Author: James (JT) Cox, CFP®, ChFC®, BFA™️

Questions or comments? Drop us a line below. I personally respond to every message.