Beware of Cyber Scams

If It Doesn’t Sound Like Us, It Probably Isn’t.

Add “credential stuffing” to the list of fraudulent activities surfacing today. Criminals are using bots to steal the names and information of all kinds of professionals, including financial representatives, and create impostor websites and domain names to trick customers into sharing personal information, leading to financial fraud.

The criminals have also placed phone calls impersonating registered representatives and firms. Whether it’s online or on the phone, both are the first steps in this form of financial fraud.

How Does It Work?

Cyber attackers obtain lists of usernames, email addresses, and passwords from the dark web after a data breach. With that information, they then attempt to gain unauthorized access to customer accounts on financial sites.

Unfortunately, the ploy is working. Worldwide, some of these attacks have resulted in the loss of customer assets and unauthorized access to customer information.

Successful attacks occur more often when individuals use the same password or minor variations of the same password for various online accounts, and/or individuals use login usernames that are easily guessed, such as email addresses or full names.

How Do You Spot It?

One of the simplest ways to tell if you’re being targeted is to check the spelling, grammar, and design of the email. If any of that looks off or out of place, then you are likely dealing with a fraudulent message. (Quick tip – read through the disclaimer of a suspected fraudulent email because the misspellings are often found there).

If you receive an unusual electronic communication (or a suspect phone call) from someone claiming to be from Planning Alternatives, please don’t respond and contact us immediately. A simple call to your Wealth Advisor or Client Service Administrator is the best way to clear up any confusion and verify that it was indeed us contacting you. At the very least, we advise everyone to change their passwords regularly and, when doing so, to choose a password that isn’t obvious (“password 123”) or one that you’ve used previously.

How We Can Help

Please contact us at any time if you have questions or concerns regarding the protection of your information. Protecting your information is of the utmost importance and we welcome any conversation.