Steps you can take to protect yourself against financial criminals
Steps You Can Take
In 2017, $1.42 billion in financial losses due to Internet crime were reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center.* As the sophistication and frequency of financial crimes continues to grow, it is more important than ever to work together to protect your family's assets.
At Schwab, we are honored that our clients have placed their trust in us to help them achieve their financial goals and protect their personal information and assets. It's why we infuse security into every layer of our business—from technology to strategy to culture.
As part of our security hierarchy, it's vital that anyone who conducts their finances online or over the phone take advantage of ways to protect themselves from financial crimes. We encourage you to use the following tips in your everyday financial lives.
- Freeze your credit.
Freezing your credit reports will prevent criminals from taking out credit cards or loans in your name.
- Use two-step verification.
By adding another level of protection to your online security, two-step verification makes it more difficult for someone to gain access to your online information.
- Secure your passwords.
Using password manager software makes it easier to track your login information across websites, and they'll help you to create strong and unique passwords.
- Use biometrics where available.
To add another unique layer of security, use biometric features (fingerprint readers, voice ID or facial recognition) that may be available on your smartphone or through your financial provider.
- Do not click on links in email.
Online financial criminals try to make their emails look legitimate. Be skeptical of all emails and any included links unless you are 100% certain they will take you somewhere you want to go.
- Verify your disbursements.
Obtain enough information or documentation to ensure you're comfortable with where you're sending your money. For instance, verbally verify emailed money instructions since emails can be compromised.
- Stay current on the latest scams.
Keep up-to-date on the latest scam tactics so you can protect yourself from falling victim.
- Set up account alerts.
Monitor your financial accounts by setting up alerts to warn you when transactions have been made. Signing up is easy and then you'll know immediately when activity occurs in your accounts.
- Limit your online presence.
Provide only the minimum level of information required by the institution to set up financial accounts. If asked for information that isn't required, don't offer it.
- Monitor account activity regularly.
Make a routine of reviewing regular statements from your financial services providers. Confirm that you recognize all the transactions listed and report those that you do not.
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The Charles Schwab Corporation provides a full range of securities, brokerage, banking, money management, and financial advisory services through its operating subsidiaries. Its broker-dealer subsidiary, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. ("Schwab"), Member SIPC, offers investment services and products, including Schwab brokerage accounts. Its banking subsidiary, Charles Schwab Bank (member FDIC and an Equal Housing Lender), provides deposit and lending services and products.
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