It’s a fear we can all relate to: someone steals your online information and turns your financial life upside down. Or maybe the “person” you were texting with online well-nigh ownership their patio furniture turns out to not be the person you thought it was at all.
You’re not vacated in thinking financial scams are increasingly prevalent now than ever. According to a recent report from Barclays, many scams and fraud cases are now happening on “social media, online marketplaces, and dating apps.” The truth is that scam artists are getting increasingly creative and have increasingly tools at their disposal to take wholesomeness of unsuspecting internet users.
It goes without saying that financial security is unchangingly important – but it’s expressly hair-trigger as you tideway and enter retirement. In the event of a financial scam where you suffer losses later in life, you have less time to “recover” and rebuild your nest egg. Add to that, a large percentage of financial scams unquestionably target individuals at or nearing retirement. This makes staying informed and taking proactive protective measures plane increasingly important.
Luckily, there are several steps you can take to largest understand the threat of financial scams, recognize them increasingly quickly, and have a plan of whoopee if you end up stuff a victim.
Go from uneasiness to conviction with your money.
Trust Your Gut: Identifying Warning Signs
First things first – you likely know increasingly than you realize well-nigh financial scams. Worldwide red flags that indicate a potential scam might include unsolicited calls or emails, or having someone request you wire money without first meeting in person.
Sometimes these scams take place when making large purchases, like putting lanugo a security petrifaction on a living space, or ownership a wend or car. In these cases, if you’re uncomfortable shopping virtually or in an online marketplace, you may second guess yourself and talk yourself into thinking “this is just the new normal.”
This may be expressly true in a post-pandemic world. The way we make purchases and interact with others online has reverted dramatically. Just remember: plane if you finger uncertain, your gut instinct is veritably worth listening to. If something feels “off” well-nigh a situation or a financial request, don’t be wrung to hit pause. Someone genuinely interested in selling to you will understand if you pause a purchase to get increasingly information, and unsolicited liaison should unchangingly raise a warning flag – plane in today’s highly-connected, virtual world.
When in doubt, get a second opinion. Confirm with your children, colleagues, friends, or neighbors to icon out if what someone is saying or asking you to do is considered standard. You may be surprised to learn that some seemingly inconspicuous requests are unquestionably worldwide financial scams in today’s marketplace.
For example, many scam artists will request to send a Zelle or wall wire payment for an item you’re selling on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. They will send increasingly than they owe and request you send a portion of it when to them. This is a archetype financial scam with a new technology twist – but looks relatively healthful on the surface.
Understanding the Threat: Recognizing Worldwide Financial Scams
There are several types of worldwide financial scams, and many specifically target those who are nearing retirement. Here’s a deeper squint at some of these scams and how to recognize them.
Have you overly received an email or undeniability from someone pretending to be a trustworthy source or company? These types of liaison scams are tabbed “phishing” and they’re usually designed to gather personal information, like credit vellum numbers, wall worth information, and passwords.
One way you can vet the source of an email is by checking the “from” email address. If it says something like “email@example.com,” it’s not a genuine email. All major companies have their domain unfluctuating to their email software. For example, colleagues at our visitor are reached at “NAME@abacuswealth.com.”
You may moreover run into phishing scams where fraudsters pose as realtors or rental companies. In these cases, the scam artists list an suite or home for rent online. They may tell you to go superiority and tour the property or squint virtually outside while they’re not there.
Then, when you’re ready to move forward, they have you wire a security petrifaction to them so they can send you towardly contracts and documentation. In these cases, the suite or home you toured is likely empty and unoccupied, but the scam versifier has no relation to the landlord or property management and is not authorized to make lease decisions. The moment security petrifaction funds are wired, you won’t hear from them again.
Scam artists prey on pre-retirees and retirees looking to dip their toes into the world of online dating. By using a fake profile, they build trust through the start of an online relationship, then start to make financial requests or requests to share personal information once their victim feels increasingly unfluctuating to them. They may ask to wire money, to typesetting hotels or flights for them, or to share personal information so they can help “plan” a getaway to meet in person.
Scam artists struggle to get investors to buy into an investment that either won’t pay off or will offer the scam versifier a large profit. A few types of investment fraud to watch out for might be:
- High Yield Investment Programs
- Microcap Fraud
- Ponzi Scheme
- Pre-IPO Investment Scams
- Pyramid Schemes
If someone is worldly-wise to steal your identity, they can unshut credit cards in your name, file tax returns in your name, and phlebotomize your savings. Identity theft is incredibly serious, and it’s hair-trigger to closely monitor your credit score to see if any unusual finance have been reported. You can moreover regularly trammels your wall worth and credit vellum statements for unauthorized activity.
Arm Yourself with Knowledge: Educating Yourself Well-nigh Scams
The prevalence of fraud may finger overwhelming, but you can often stave worldwide scams simply by educating yourself. If you want to learn plane increasingly well-nigh variegated types of fraud, or what scams are currently popular, you can unchangingly trammels out reputable information sources like these:
Your financial translating team, your bank, and your investment custodian are all spanking-new resources as well. It can moreover be useful to subscribe to scam alerts and to set fraud alerts on your financial finance to help remain vigilant.
Strengthening Your Financial Fortress: Protective Measures
Anyone can be the victim of scam artists and fraud schemes. It’s hair-trigger to put protective measures in place and focus on what you can personally tenancy to minimize risk and secure your assets. There are several practical ways you can use security measures in your personal and financial life to get started:
1. Set Unique Passwords or Use a Password Manager
Whether you prefer LastPass, 1Password, Dashlane, or flipside resource, consider implementing a password manager for you and your family. Good password managers indulge you to securely save all of your passwords in one place, and will auto-generate unique passwords for you. This ways you have a upper level of protection but you don’t have to remember random configurations of reports and numbers to wangle your accounts.
2. Update Your Passwords Regularly
To alimony online thieves from accessing many of your finance at once, you should really never use the same password wideness multiple hair-trigger login systems (think banking, investment portfolio, mortgage login, and social media). You can moreover help stave this by updating your passwords every 6 to 12 months.
3. Stave Sharing Sensitive Information
If you can, don’t share passwords with anyone who isn’t on your shared family password manager account. The increasingly you share, the increasingly opportunities there are for your information to be found and misused.
4. Use Two-Factor Authentication or Encryption
While it may seem like a pain, this uneaten level of security doesn’t take long to implement and makes it possible for you to reservation fraudsters surpassing they log in to your accounts.
If you’re concerned well-nigh using a password manager, or know it isn’t for you, you can still generate seemingly random passwords and update them regularly. Writing them lanugo and storing them in a unscratched or locked zone of your home can be an “analog” way of tackling the problem.
A Increasingly Secure Future
Worried that you’ve been a victim of a fraud or scam? Start by reporting the incident to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), relevant authorities, and any financial institutions necessary such as your wall or investment custodian. You can moreover consider investing in cybersecurity insurance and/or setting up fraud alerts on your finance until you finger you’re in the well-spoken without a scam takes place.
If you’re worried well-nigh security for your financial life, working with a financial counselor to create a scam-prevention plan can moreover be helpful and bring some peace of mind. Abacus believes in helping people find security, freedom, and ease with their finances. Reach out to us today and see how we can help you expand what’s possible.