Fraud Schemes and How to Protect Clients from Them

03.24.24 04:10 PM Comment(s) By Amy

March 3-9 is National Consumer Protection Week and a great to time to increase awareness around scams and fraud. Financial fraud can have devastating consequences, sometimes causing irreparable damage to an individual's savings and overall financial stability. Older clients may be particularly vulnerable to scams as they tend to be less aware of the intricacies of online security or the latest scam tactics.  But the trust that young people place in the internet makes them susceptible as well. No matter the age of your clients, don’t wait for fraud to strike. Take proactive steps now to safeguard clients of all ages against it.

I recommend creating a laminated list including the top scams and steps to prevent them. Put a refrigerator magnet on it and give one to all clients so they can keep it in full view at home. For the ideas what to include, see these two reports:


Better Business Bureau:

Then include a list of preventive tips like these:

  1. Be Skeptical: Look with skepticism on every unsolicited email, phone call, or offer. Reject any that demand immediate action, seems too good to be true, or require clicking on a link to see or sign something, even if it appears to be from someone you know.
  2. Verify Identity and Credentials: NEVER click on a link unless you verify it independently from the email or text. For instance, if you get a message from your bank, call the bank independently to ask if it is legitimate. If you get a message that appears to be from a friend or that has no subject line and includes a link, DO NOT reply to the email but call or email your friend separately to verify. This is especially important if it involves financial transactions or sensitive information.
  3. Secure Communication Channels: Don’t share personal or financial information over unsecured networks or channels, such as public Wi-Fi, texts, or unencrypted websites.
  4. Protect Personal Information: Zealously guard your personal and financial information. Never share details like Social Security numbers, bank account information, or passwords via email, text, or unsolicited requests. Only fraudsters operate this way.
  5. Use Strong Passwords and Security Measures: Use strong, unique passwords for every online account. Keep track of them in a password management program. Enable two-factor authentication or an authorization app whenever possible for added protection.
  6. Watch Your Statements: Carefully go through your financial transactions, account statements, and medical/Medicare EOB’s to find and report any unauthorized or suspicious activity.
  7. Trust Your Instincts: If something doesn't feel right, trust your instincts and delete it. It's better to err on the side of caution than to fall victim to a scam.
  8. If you still aren’t sure, call us! Forward a suspicious email, call to get our experienced opinion, and rely on our firm to help keep you safe. That’s what we’re here for.

When you give clients a list like this and make proactive discussions about scams a central part of your client engagements, you empower your clients with essential information and let them know you’ve got their back. An added benefit: When their family, friends, and neighbors see your branded list on the client’s refrigerator, they will ask about an advisor who cares about and protects clients. What have you got to lose?


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