September 8, 2014
- Director, Institutional Oversight and Control, TD Ameritrade Institutional
“As Director of Institutional Oversight and Controls, my team and I are committed to helping advisors safeguard and protect client accounts at TD Ameritrade through education, collaboration with industry experts, and building awareness around industry trends.”
- Bryan Baas, Director, Institutional Oversight and Control
The number of fraudulent wire attempts through email is growing at a concerning rate, and there is one, small step that you can take as an advisor to prevent this threat from impacting your business. Simply, pick up the phone.
Fraudulent wires are a scheme to obtain money based on false representation. Fraudsters hack into a person’s email account to search for the information they need to initiate the wire request, often urgent, and formulate an excuse for why they are unable to speak to you on the phone. Before you know it, the money is wired to the criminal.
Losses can be considerable and clients are not happy.
Make it a requirement to always contact the client to verify email wire transfer requests, at a phone number you have on record. This, will prevent you from ever having to answer. “How could you let this happen to my account?”
I’ve witnessed this risk prevention firsthand and the percentage of attempted wire frauds stopped by calling the client first is definitely increasing. A great sign, but we need to continue to be vigilant. Using the client data you have on file versus what is provided in the email is what prevents you and your clients from suffering losses. Don’t make assumptions, verify against your data.