When you’ve been working hard to ensure you can enjoy a comfortable retirement, the last thing you want to have to deal with is retirement account fraud. However, this type of fraud has grown significantly. In just the last 18 months, nearly 200 victim complaints involving fraudulent account activity associated with retirement accounts have been received nationwide.
With this type of fraud, criminals target government and private retirement benefits by fraudulently accessing and redirecting direct deposit benefits from the Social Security Administration, VA, and other retirement and disability benefits. These perpetrators gain access to online accounts on the benefit provider’s website, such as www.ssa.gov, and change the direct deposit routing to other financial accounts which the perpetrator has control over. The scammer logs into the victim’s account using the victim’s credentials without their authorization. They then change the contact information, such as phone number and email address, and fraudulently request the movement of money, such as large wire transfers.
Protect your hard earned retirement funds
Utilize these measures to reduce your risk of loss:
- Create strong passwords, be sure to change them periodically.
- Use a minimum of 8 characters, containing alphanumeric characters and symbols.
- Avoid using personal information as your passwords, such as dates of birth and phone numbers.
- If the institution offers a secondary authorization, take advantage when conducting money transfers.
- Be mindful of anyone requesting remote access to a computer, or any requests to cash in retirement accounts.
Retirement account fraud may be on the rise, but luckily, you can take steps to keep your accounts secure. It may be another password to remember, but in the long-run, that could end up meaning a comfortable and worry-free retirement for you. Consider the long-term benefits and secure your accounts today – it only takes a few minutes.