Recent Increase in Cyber Attacks

Over the past few months, the financial industry has experienced an increase in fraudulent attempts to gain access to client data, through false disbursement requests. In fact, cyber attacks are now considered one of the largest risks to financial markets in 2019. To keep pace with the times, we have updated a few of our policies to keep you safe.

New Policies to Protect Your Information:

To keep you safe, we now require a phone conversation before we can:

  • accept any request for distribution service
  • make updates to your banking information

Additionally, these are both services that will usually require your signature on file and we will provide you with the requisite paperwork.

Why Do I Need to Call?

While phone numbers, emails and other text-based information can be imitated, it is much more difficult for a hacker to imitate your voice. Even if they were a skilled voice actor, they would still need to know you and be able to imitate you very well. This makes a phone call one of the most secure ways to verify your identity.

Practices We Use With Clients to Keep You Safe Against Fraud:

  • Confirm your disbursement requests directly with a phone call
    • we are not permitted to do so via email
  • Always verify new bank instructions with us. We will never ask you to change your banking information.
  • We cannot trust Caller ID, because it is easy to manipulate, therefore we require communications from a phone number that you provided us for approved communications with you.
  • Optionally, you can provide us with a password for phone verification, but please avoid using it in any email or text communications. We will still need you to speak with us when providing this password, for reasons aforementioned.
  • When you send us an email, we will need to see that it is from an email we have from you on file. However, email will still not be permissible for disbursements or bank information
  • Never provide your username or password to us, or any other company. We can send you a password reset link, but we are not able to view your personal login details.

We Also Protect Your Security in Our Office:

  • We will not click on any links within an email, unless we are 100% positive of its origin. That means we can only open a link you send via email, if we have your email on file.
    • Note: A common scam tactic is to imitate your IT department to get you to click on a link or provide personal information
  • We will never enter a password in an email, or fall prey to other data phising schemes.
  • We keep our office locked after hours and on weekends. We do not even allow cleaning staff to enter the office.
  • Our anti-virus and spyware software is up-to-date
  • Our wi-fi network uses a secure password.
  • Paper files are stored in locked filing cabinets
  • Our financial planning software utilizes strong encryption

General Best Practices Against Fraud:

  • When you check the mail, be sure to shred any credit card offers and banking information. Identity thieves can pretend to be you by using this information and may be able to obtain a credit card in your name through an introductory offer.
    • It is a good idea to hide any important information, such as bank account info or social security numbers in permanent Sharpie marker, as well.
  • Do not believe any communications from strangers claiming that:
    • You just won money, or inherited money from a distant relative’s bank account
      • If you have doubts, please contact the banking institution. Banks will disclose when these claims have any validity.
      • Do not trust claims that you need to make a bank transfer to a third party, before you can receive something of value
      • Do not trust any request to provide bank details to anyone

        Image result for fraud call meme

        One of the most common scams claims that you inherited money from a Nigerian prince, but you need to send him payment for the transfer. This scam has been around since the 90s.

  • Scammers frequently imitate the IRS, but the IRS will never:
    • “Call to demand immediate payment, nor will we call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill.” (quoted directly from the IRS)
    • “Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe.”
    • “Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a prepaid debit card.”
    • “Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone.”
    • “Threaten to bring in local police or other law-enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying.”
      • The IRS does not use unsolicited email, text messages or any social media to discuss your personal tax issue, for details on IRS scams, click here.
  • Scammers posing as debt collectors may make similar threats as scammers pretending to be the IRS. You can claim to be anyone on the phone and we can’t trust these claims.
  • Often seniors are the target of fraud and scams. You can find more information about common scams on

We Are Here to Help You

We are here to help and we do our best to provide you with quality financial advice and services. As such, we want to keep you safe and created this blog post to give you more information on scams that put your finances at risk.

We are happy to service you and we value your account security. If you believe that your computer has been compromised, or you have received a fraudulent email from someone claiming to be us, please contact us immediately: (512) 638-9499.