Check it out: Everything is a little easier when you have a list of steps to help you accomplish your objective.
Here are some things you can do.
Reduce your risks
Sign up for the FTC’s Do Not Call Registry.
While it won’t block every robo-call, the Federal Trade Commission’s National Do Not Call Registry will screen out many telemarketing calls, including some from less-than-savory operations
Secure your personal/account information and passwords.
Don’t leave your password list lying around near your computer or in your wallet—and don’t label it Passwords in large, friendly letters. (Janney makes it easy to keep track of all your important documents and information in our online Document Vault.)
Think before you act
Hold off acting on “urgent” messages.
Fraudsters count on that moment when your gut kicks in and your head temporarily checks out. Before you respond to a pop-up alert, call, or email demanding you act immediately, take a breath first. And don’t click on anything. Common fake-urgent alerts include:
- A call from a “grandchild” asking you to send money to help with a dire situation—for example, a medical emergency, arrest, or kidnapping.
- A call or email from “the IRS” saying you committed tax fraud and face arrest if you don’t respond immediately.
- The CEO, CFO, or senior financial leader at your company needs your help updating a direct-deposit account number immediately. (CNBC reported on this trend in April 2019: New wire fraud scam targets your direct deposit info paycheck.)
- A call, email, or pop-up message from a hardware or software company you know—Microsoft for example—claiming you need technical support.
Verify, then trust.
Rather than click on a link or call a phone number in a pop-up message, email, or letter, use the contact information you see on your regular account statement or the back of your credit card. Or call your Financial Advisor for help.
Treat your Social Security Number like a state secret.
Share this number only with the people and institutions you trust the most. Never give this number out over the phone unless you’re absolutely confident about who’s on the other side of the connection.
Use smart web strategies
Check the website address bar.
Confirm the website you’re visiting is legitimate (for example, IRS.gov, not IRS.com) and secure (look for the lock in the address bar).
Practice password prudence.
Have a strong password that combines upper-and-lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols. Stay away from the most popular password: 123456. And no using the same password for multiple sites.