How We Protect Our Clients from ID theft, Fraud and Errors

A&I Financial Services > Blog > How We Protect Our Clients from ID theft, Fraud and Errors

Read this Periscope to learn about what we are doing about ID theft, fraud and human errors with our own and our client’s private information. Also:

  1. 2020 and 2021 tax brackets are available on GOTAXFREEbook.com
  2. Click to watch our most recent lunch and learn, Uncharted Waters
  3. Listen to the Expert Network Team podcasts

Cyber Fraud Hits Unemployment Agencies

If you have a chance, you might enjoy the podcast on a huge fraud spreading throughout the country and affecting a growing number of our clients: False unemployment claims. I have heard from more than one client who has received an “address change” form or a tax bill due for unemployment payments they never asked for, nor received!

Be careful and diligent! If you have time, listen to the Expert Network Team discuss how to protect yourself from unemployment fraud.

Human Errors Cause Cyber Problems

In an article from the New York Times about errors in credit reporting agencies, I came away with the opinion that we are on our own to defend ourselves. We are vulnerable to human error—but we will never know the humans who make the errors. It could be a programmer working at home while her kids are not at school. She doesn’t “debug” her software as well as she could and shazam—lots of people have errors on their credit reports.

But the truth may be more nefarious. The article points out that changes in regulations—meant to help people—are harming their credit scores. During the pandemic, the Federal government delayed or forgave payments. The software that determines our credit score was not written in way that allows for these exceptions. Now we have to manually fix things—and it can take a long time.

Francois Giguere CFP® and Marla Mason CFP® discuss investments and the economy in our recent Lunch and Learn.

ID Theft

With the amount of data on the internet, readily available to hackers, we are vulnerable to the humans with bad intentions. Famously, the hack now known by one of its corporate victims, Solar Winds, ran for a very long time and gathered a huge amount of formerly confidential information from regular people, corporations and the US government.

SolarWinds hack was work of ‘at least 1,000 engineers’, tech executives tell Senate

The scope of this particular hack is huge and the damage could be ongoing. They could still be stealing information. To resolve the problems could take a long time. So let’s be diligent and careful.

Our Tech Defense Strategies at A&I Financial Services LLC

One of the best ways to fight fraud is to know each other. We go through a thorough discovery process with our clients and then we have frequent contact with each other. We require our financial advisors to speak with our clients on the phone or in person before we send out the money. This way, we believe, we have an edge over all of the online providers of similar services. We believe going “old school” is safer than even the most advanced technologies.

We receive the fraudulent email requests weekly, if not daily. We have frequent trainings here in the office for our entire team. We hope that we can spot these things quickly. And, we do everything we can to protect your identity. Again, the in-person visit or phone call quickly handles any attempted hack.

Be careful not to access your private accounts with an insecure wifi network!

We also employ a big technology firm with state-of-the-art cyber security stuff. The details of the technology I will not reveal, to keep all of us safe. Also, I don’t understand all of it. Most importantly, we speak with this team regularly. We have had no issues. And technology spending is one of the biggest items on our budget. So we feel like we have done everything we can to keep you safe.

Again, we believe that the biggest threats are avoided by our knowledge of each other. As a small company, we trust our clients and our clients trust us.

Read more:

Make sure to visit GOTAXFREEbook.com for 2020 and 2021 tax bracket updates.

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About the author

Karl Frank, Certified Financial Planner ®, MSF, MBA, MA, is the President of A&I Financial Services LLC, a local business that specializes in wealth management, insurance planning, and retirement planning. Karl cares for business owners and the businesses that care for them. Learn More about Karl.