Fraud and cybersecurity protection are key topics and should always be in the back of one’s mind. In today’s increasingly digital economy, fraudsters are using progressively more sophisticated tactics to manipulate information to gain access to client accounts. At DWM, it is our responsibility to help our clients manage the risks of financial fraud and protect their investments. We understand the risk for our clients and have policies and procedures in place to stay well informed of the best practices for cybersecurity. Here we will discuss some important strategies individuals and investment firms may use to prevent fraud.
- Be cautious with personal information. One of the most common ways fraudsters gain access to sensitive information is through phishing scams. Phishing is a type of fraud where scammers send emails or messages that appear to be from a legitimate source to deceive people into providing personal information. While responding to emails, remember to always be cautious when providing information and never open any attachments or links from an unknown source.
- Keep passwords and security codes secure. Fraudsters can gain access to client information by guessing or stealing passwords and security codes. It is essential to create strong passwords that are difficult to guess and to keep them secure. It is also important to avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.
- Work with a trusted financial firm who can help identify potential risks and monitor your investments for signs of fraudulent activity. At DWM, we know that we can trust Schwab as our Custodian because of their commitment to fraud prevention. As an extra layer of security to deter fraud, Schwab has implemented a Trusted Contact on client’s accounts. A Trusted Contact is a family member, friend, or another trusted individual that we or Schwab may contact on the client’s behalf, if necessary, to address concerns regarding potential financial exploitation with the client’s account(s) or to verify the client’s current health status.
- Another way an investment firm can prevent fraud is to establish strong internal controls by creating policies and procedures for the handling of money and ensuring employees are properly trained on fraud prevention. At DWM, we have routine training and continuing education to monitor the best practices for cybersecurity awareness. We have implemented anti-fraud training programs to educate us on the warning signs of fraud and how to report any suspicious activity. We monitor our client’s accounts daily to help identify potential risks and signs of fraudulent activity and to ensure there are no suspicious transactions or patterns of behavior which would indicate fraudulent activity. We also develop personalized investment strategies for each client that aligns with their financial goals and risk tolerance.
- Implement fraud detection tools. In order to keep a client’s financial information secure, Schwab recommends clients: set up two-factor authentication, set up eVerification, and enable Biometrics. This multi-step login process is a great deterrent for fraudsters. Check out Chandler's blog for more information on fraud prevention resources.
Fraud can have serious consequences, both financially and emotionally. It is important to be vigilant, protect your personal information, and report any suspected fraud. If you have any questions on how to better prevent fraud and protect your investments, don’t hesitate to contact us.