We are in the midst of the biggest technology boom in the history of the planet. As each day passes, computers, tablets and smart phones are enabling us to do more than we ever imagined. Today, we can make bank deposits from our phones. We can have food delivered with the tap of a button. We can even communicate with our pets when we’re out of the house.
However, with these added conveniences come added risks. News of data breaches has become so commonplace that we as consumers are virtually numb to the threat.
Unique challenges for high-net-worth individuals
While fraudsters will attack everybody and anybody, they are beginning to pay more attention to high-net-worth individuals.
Fraudsters know the payoff can be enormous, and they’ve found that it typically takes longer for this particular group to discover they have been hacked.
Reasons high-net-worth individuals are targeted
- They typically deal with larger transactions, so smaller fraudulent ones often go unnoticed.
- They tend to have more accounts, making it more difficult to monitor them all effectively.
- They don’t have the time to monitor their accounts diligently.
- They often assume their financial advisor is handling fraud detection for them.
How to help protect yourself
While nobody can be completely immune from identity theft, you can make the process more difficult for potential fraudsters by completing this checklist.
- Update your operating systems, browser and software patches to ensure you’re running the most up-to-date technology.
- Establish a secure firewall.
- Install and maintain anti-virus solutions.
- Require dual approval on monetary transactions and administrative changes.
- Keep your login credentials secure.
- Be aware of and use your banks’ security measures, such as text and email alerts.
Action items for fraud victims
- Contact your financial institutions. If your bank accounts or existing credit lines have been affected, act swiftly to close them.
- Place a fraud alert on your credit report. Contact one of the three reporting agencies (Experian1, Equifax2, or TransUnion3) immediately. By doing so, lenders and creditors will be alerted to take additional steps to verify your identity.
- File an Identity Theft Report at IdentityTheft.gov. This site was set up by the federal government to help victims set up a personal recovery plan. Here, you can put a plan in place and track your progress.
- File a police report. To complete the Identity Theft Report, you must also report the crime to local law enforcement. Make sure you obtain a copy of the police report, as well as the report number.
- Add an identity theft rider to your homeowners or renters insurance. With most policies, this additional coverage will help pay for the cost of restoring your identity and may cover additional expenses that you incur as a result of the crime. In addition to these steps, you should also change all of your existing passwords, get a new driver’s license and contact the Social Security fraud hotline.
For more information about identity fraud for high-net-worth individuals, visit huntington.com/hnwfraud to download the full whitepaper, or reach out to your local Private Bank Advisor.