Every week, I get emails thanking me for a purchase that I did not make. Often these are for several hundred dollars and I am instructed if I have any questions to contact them. Anyone who responds will be quested to try and phish for information. They want to get personal info to steal your identity. Often these emails come from Gmail accounts. This is a big warning sign! E-mails from major companies would come from a corporate email address. If you did not just do business with this company, ignore it; do not clink on the link. If you did do business, contact company directly.
Many times, large companies get hacked and information is stolen about their customers. Recently, a T-Mobile data breach affected nearly 40 million accounts. The telecom company is currently investigating another breach that exposed names, addresses, emails, phone numbers and dates of birth, of more than 37 million users. This is T-Mobile’s sixth data breach since 2018.
FanDuel suffered a data breach exposing names and email addresses. The sports betting site notified customers that a third-party vendor exposed personal information this month. FanDuel has warned customers to keep an eye out for phishing emails.
Sometimes, crooks try to steal info by pretending to be part of the government. Social Security scam alert: Beware of a letter stating that your Social Security number is being suspended. The message claims that “Due to fraudulent activities, your Social Security number will be suspended in the next 24 hours” and goes on to state that your Social Security number is involved with a $14 million fraud. Read more about the scam and the warning signs.
This is such a large problem that the government is making changes. The Federal Communications Commission is creating a new data breach rule. Previously, the FCC required that telecommunication carriers notify consumers and authorities of a breach within seven days. The new rule would require that breaches are reported to the FCC, FBI, and U.S. Secret Service immediately upon discovery. Consumers would need to be notified immediately as well unless directed differently by authorities.
There are steps you can take on your own. Freezing your credit files at the big three credit bureaus is one of the most important actions you can take to protect your identity from hackers and fraud. Freezing your credit file locks down your credit with a PIN. No new credit can be approved without you lifting the freeze from your accounts. The process is free and provides an important level of protection. Even if a hacker has your name, Social Security number, and other important personal information, they fshould not be able to access your credit without the PIN.
Even after freezing your credit, it is still important to keep your credit files frozen. If you have not done so already, you must freeze your credit at Experian, Equifax, and Trans Union. You can freeze your credit for free on each of the bureau’s websites.
You are the most important person in protecting your personal information from thieves. Be very careful when clicking on links from the web and be careful when providing information from sources that contacted you.
Your Financial Future is written by certified financial planner Gary W. Boatman, MBA and CFP, who also wrote the book, “Your Financial Compass: Safe Passage Through The Turbulent Waters of Taxes, Income Planning and Market Volatility.”
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article. See official rules here.