This is a ‘quick and dirty’ post, as in slapping this on my site as fast as my fingers can type warning.

Hack Alert: Safe Guard Your 401(k) Funds

Hack Alert: Safe Guard Your 401(k) Funds

Although my niche is not financial planning or frugal spending or anything remotely financial, I am compelled to share a dire warning.

Cyber attack.

A malevolent entity or human being hacked into my childhood friend’s 401(k) account today. She is a hard-working professional who juggles work and family.

Imagine working your buns off and squirreling away a nest egg only to have it stolen in a cyber crime.

Scary!

Apparently, my friend’s account was hacked when someone who had access to her credentials (read: social security number and date of birth) set up a Walmart “Go Bank” account.

[Note: I have no idea what a ‘Go Bank’ account is, but I would be suspicious of anything related to Walmart, especially since I don’t agree with how they treat their employees, but I digress!]

Then, they successfully made a funds transfer request and liquidated her entire 401(k) account and had funds transferred into the bogus Walmart Go Bank account which in turn was emptied.

Yes, emptied!

What can you do NOW to protect your nest egg?

Take these four (4) steps to protect your assets from hackers:

  1. Place a credit freeze or hold through all credit reporting bureaus {insert websites/phone numbers}. Check out this article for step-by-step tips!
  2. Add ‘human confirmation required’ to all of your online accounts, such as credit cards, debit cards, 401(k) accounts, bank accounts….if you can transfer money to or from it, then secure it!
  3. Look out for suspicious spam. If you receive a flood of spam messages, beware. In my friend’s case, her company’s bookkeeper somehow found a valid message from the 401(k) provider requesting confirmation, but it was requested three days too late. The email was buried in a flood of spam messages….
  4. Read up on how to securing your computer and minimize access to malware.

Ok, as I stated in the beginning, this is the ‘quick and dirty’ low-down on how to protect your nest egg. I will update as more information is available and will add some resources to hopefully give you peace of mind (well, as much as possible, given the circumstances).

 

Have you ever been a victim of identity theft and fraud? If so, what actions did you take to protect you and your family from future attacks?

 

 

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