In this digital age, we are constantly under the radar of cybercriminals aiming to access our financial details. The holiday season tends to be a popular time for online scams. Your team at Bridgeworth and Savant realizes that you are receiving emails from various former and new custodians (Schwab, Fidelity, LPL) and many from us. With so much email activity, we encourage you to be extra diligent in reviewing communications before you open, click, download, or offer information. There is no perfect system to be fully protected, but below are some actions to help protect yourself from financial fraud.
Don’t open emails from people you don’t know.
It’s best practice not to open emails from individuals or organizations you don’t know. While opening them could be harmless, it can cause damage quickly if you download malicious attachments, respond to an email’s request for credit card or bank account numbers, or click on phishing links. Email filters have improved over the years and cast many of those emails to your junk or spam folder, but your email address could easily be found if you’ve posted it on social media or have been part of a data breach. Always have your guard up when checking your inbox.
Double-check email addresses from businesses and be wary of links.
Scammers are getting better at enticing people to click on suspicious links. They’ll often pose as a reputable business, such as Amazon, using a fake but similar email address. It might have an extra character like a hyphen or swap out a character like “Amaz0n.” These emails often include an offer for a gift card and require you to enter sensitive information such as your credit card number. Another common scheme is to pose as a government agency, saying that you have unclaimed property worth a significant amount of money. The scammers provide a link, leading you to another phony website asking for information such as your Social Security Number. Please know that a reputable business will never ask for sensitive personal information via email or text. Contact the company directly to ensure legitimate communication if you receive a similar request.
Never give out your personal information over the phone.
If a supposed government agency or a company for whom you are a customer contacts you, then hang up the phone and call them back using a verified phone number.
Be wary of money inquiries from strangers or family.
Artificial intelligence can now allow scammers to spoof the phone number and the voice of a person with whom you believe you are speaking. Hang up and call the individual back to verify their identity. Get a second opinion from a trusted family member or friend before sharing information or sending money to a third party (person, company, or government agency).
Bridgeworth Wealth Management was acquired by Savant Wealth Management on 11/30/2023. Savant Wealth Management (“Savant”) is an SEC-registered investment adviser headquartered in Rockford, Illinois. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk. Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy, including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended and/or undertaken by Savant, or any non-investment related services, will be profitable, equal any historical performance levels, be suitable for your portfolio or individual situation, or prove successful. Please see our Important Disclosures.