Thursday, September 27, 2012

Scammers Target Your Investment Dollars

There are many new and creative techniques thieves are using to get their hands on your money. One of the latest scams, however, doesn’t directly involve you at all. It involves those who manage money for a living, and thieves are seeking big dollars from these professionals that have access to their clients’ money.

Instead of contacting those with money directly, scammers are sending fraudulent e-mails to money managers posing as their clients. The ‘client’ then requests to have cash in their investment account transferred to an account elsewhere. Unless money managers verify this request with contact information on file at their firm, cash in an account could be unwittingly transferred to an unscrupulous individual.

For federal employees with money in the Thrift Savings Plan, this isn’t an issue. The TSP has many layers of security that prevent unscrupulous people with a slick e-mail or a convincing phone call from gaining access to money in these accounts.

There are still precautions you should take when setting up any account online. Here are a few tips you can use to help keep scammers out of your affairs:

-         Never use the same password for two or more accounts. Make each one unique.
-         Never use a password that someone can guess by checking out your social media profiles.
-         Never click on any link sent in an e-mail.
-         Never open a file sent to you from an unknown individual.

While these tips may not completely shield someone from a focused attack by a thief, they could potentially limit the damage. To learn more about some of the latest Internet scams, go to:

What additional ways can you suggest to protect others from Internet-based scams?

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