How Are Hackers Targeting Retirement Accounts?


In today’s digital age, cyber fraud is big business. In 2018, nearly $15 billion was lost to cyberfraud. The most pervasive type was account takeover, in which a fraudster uses login information to take over a person’s financial account and use the funds as they wish. That type of fraud accounted for nearly $4 billion in losses over 2017 and 2018.1


Credit cards used to be the most targeted financial account. However, there’s another type of account that is rapidly on the rise as a favorite target. Retirement account fraud more than tripled in 2017-2018 over the previous two-year period.1


How do they target your retirement account? Usually, by obtaining your login information. They may buy a database of logins that include yours. Or they could try and guess at your password if they have your sign-in ID and know personal information about you.


One popular tactic is phishing. That’s when a fraudster tries to trick you into revealing your information through a fake email or phone call. For example, they may send you an email pretending to be your account custodian. When you reply or call them, you could inadvertently provide them with the information they need to login and take control of your account.2


Fortunately, you can take steps to protect yourself:


  • Change your password regularly. By doing that, you protect yourself from any potential leaks or database sales that include your information. By the time your password falls into the wrong hands, it’s already been changed. Set a monthly reminder to update all your important passwords.


  • Pick a difficult verification question. The infamous verification question can baffle even legitimate account holders. Many people opt for an easy question, so they’ll remember the answer. However, a difficult one would provide more protection. Choose something that only you will know. Often the verification question is your last line of defense.


  • When in doubt, verify. You can always call our office to ask if something is legitimate or fake. If you receive a call or an email and it doesn’t seem to be right, please reach out to a professional who can help you determine the correct course of action. Very few financial issues are so urgent that you can’t take time to investigate their legitimacy.


This uncertain period could be the right time to review all the security features and passwords on your account. It also may a good time to review your strategy. Retirement Power Hours is here to help you protect your strategy from all risks, including cyber fraud. Contact us today to start the conversation.






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