Happy New Year! As we enter 2018, we are seeing another surge of identity fraud. Clients are receiving emails from their banks and other institutions that look real, but that are in fact “phishing” to commit fraud or identity theft.
The methods used by those committing fraud varies and is constantly changing. Many of these methods are quite advanced, requiring that we all stay vigilant in our efforts to avoid fraud. Here are some common things we recommend to all our clients to help avoid credit fraud;
1) Check your credit report several times per year and pay attention to any unusual activity or activity that you did not initiate.
2) If you receive a call from your bank or credit card company regarding anything about your accounts, pause, then tell them that you will call them back. Feel free to ask their name or department. Never call back on a number the caller provides. It may be a fraud. Look up the information yourself, either on the back of your card, the web or off one of your statements. Then call the main number you have on record to speak with someone at your bank or credit card company to confirm what the call is about. If the call is legitimate, they will know exactly what is needed and if it was not a legitimate call, then you have avoided an incidence of credit fraud.
3) Next, if you receive an alert from your bank or credit card company by email, never follow any of the links in the email - log into your bank separately on your own. These emails often look very legitimate and the average person might not be able to tell if they are a fraud or not. Once you log into your bank or other agencies’ web site, you will generally see the alerts are posted right there online. If it’s easier for you to call your bank, do that. Just mention to the person you speak with that you received an email and wanted to check on it by phone.
Our goal is for all to have a safe and wonderful 2018. If you have any questions about any of the above information or how Oxford Planning Group, LLC can help you be more secure with your financial planning and investments, please contact us. If you would like a copy of our “Credit Report Agency Contact Info and Frequently Asked Question” just send us an email and we’ll be happy to provide you with that information. https://oxfordplannng.com/contact-us