Keeping Your E-Mail SecureSubmitted by Grunden Financial Advisory, Inc on December 20th, 2012
Ashley recently participated in a webinar hosted by Bryan Baas, Director of Oversight and Control at TD Ameritrade Institutional over how to protect clients against e-mail fraud. She learned cutting edge information that we are passing on to you.
The way a fraudulent wire request comes through a client’s e-mail account is generally consistent from one email to another. For example, hackers will find a way to get into your e-mail account and they will monitor your messages and sort through old messages until they find the information they need, such as your financial advisors e-mail address or even your account number. Then, the hacker will shut you out of your e-mail, giving you an error message saying something along the lines of “AOL is experiencing technical difficulties. Please be patient as we fix this problem.” This way you do not suspect anything while you wait a few days before regaining access to your e-mail. During those few days, the hacker uses your e-mail to ask your financial advisor for account balances and how to wire out funds. Then they send an urgent e-mail saying, “An emergency has come up and I need $50,000. Please wire this out to the following account…”
Here at Grunden, we have experienced one fraudulent e-mail that appeared to come from a client’s e-mail address. Since we know our clients at a personal level, we were able to tell that this was not a true e-mail sent from our client. We immediately called our client to alert them that their e-mail may have been hacked and we reached out to the FBI to report the incident.
With identity theft and e-mail hacking on the rise, we encourage you to keep your e-mail password secure. Do not write it down and do not share it with others. According to this Fox Business article, Hotmail and Gmail are two of the most secure free e-mail providers. If you suspect that your e-mail has been hacked, please notify us immediately. Let us know if you want to understand more about the steps we take to keep your data secure.