It seems you can’t turn on the news these days without hearing about another major corporation or financial institution that has fallen victim to hacking. In recent years, we’ve heard about data breaches at places such as Target, AOL, CVS and even the credit rating organization, Equifax. Based on the scale and frequency of these incidents, it’s not surprising that many of us are concerned that our financial information and/or personal information may have fallen into the hands of someone intent on committing fraud.
Because it’s nearly impossible to know whether your information was part of one of the breaches, we recommend that you review your credit report regularly. Check to see if there are any accounts showing on your report that you are not familiar with. If could be a fraudulent account. Identity thieves and hackers will often use the information they gain to create accounts in their victim’s name. Everyone is entitled to one free credit report each of the three main credit repositories: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion every year. Go to the website: www.annualcreditreport.com to access your credit report.
A great preventative measure is to have your credit files frozen, so no one can open any new accounts in your name. If you suspect you many have been the victim of identity theft, you can place a Fraud Alert on your credit files. For more information about these measures, please see our article Our Thoughts on the Equifax Hack
What you can do to prevent fraud and identity theft
Along with monitoring and protecting your credit, there are several things you can do to avoid being the victim of financial fraud. Make a habit of looking over your bank and credit card statements every month to see if there have been any transactions you don’t recognize.
Investment accounts are a major target of fraudsters. There are many measures you can take to protect your investment accounts from theft or fraud. Download our free guide, Security Measures to Protect Your Investment Accounts to learn more about these important security measures.
Your wealth management advisor at Blankinship and Foster can also help you review account security measures that you have in place as well as advise you on those you may want to add. Changing passwords on a regular basis, setting up account alerts and reviewing all monthly financial statements are just some of the ways to make sure your sensitive data hasn’t been compromised.
Here for all your wealth management advisor questions
When you enlist B & F’s family wealth advisor services, you’re not only planning for the future but making sure your money is safe today. We provide guidance regarding how to choose the right financial and investment strategies that will help you achieve your goals. We are fee-only, fiduciary financial advisors, so you can rest assured that our guidance will always be in your best interest. Our only goal is to provide you with the best possible financial and investment advice, from tax planning to retirement and estate planning and more.
Call to schedule an appointment today and we can help you make sure your money and financial information are in good hands.