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Protecting Your Assets

We wanted to make you aware of a new scam targeting clients of financial firms. The scam campaign combines computer pop-up messages and a phone call. This scheme combines elements of electronic tech support scams with impersonations of real personnel at the Federal Reserve and financial institutions to attempt to obtain your assets and personal data.

How the scam works:

  1. You receive a pop-up message appearing to be from either Microsoft or Apple warning that your computer has been compromised.

  2. The popup instructs you to call a provided "tech support" number that connects you to a fraudster.

  3. After speaking with the fraudsters, you will be contacted by someone claiming to work for your financial institution as a "security officer", who will inform you that your account has been "compromised". The financial institution employee impersonator tells you that you must transfer your funds into an account in "federal custody", and that your money will be returned in three business days, once your account has been "encrypted" for safety.

  4. Once you follow these instructions, your money disappears.

To make the story believable, victims are receiving personalized paper letters in the mail that appear to be from the Federal Reserve, referencing the real name and titles of genuine financial institution personnel, tech company employees, and FDIC analysts who are supposedly the individuals contacting them by phone. The letter encourages victims to verify each person's identity through their LinkedIn profiles, making the scam even more convincing.

Below are a few steps you can take to protect your assets and your personal data.

  • Do not to click on links or call based on instructions from a computer pop-up.

  • Always verify the phone numbers for tech support providers independently.

  • Never grant remote access to your financial accounts to anyone.

  • Verify all requests verbally with the financial institution handling your request.

You are your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your assets and personal information. It is important to exercise extreme caution when you receive unsolicited computer popups, emails, texts, letters or phone calls. Always think before you click or reply, and if you have any questions, please let us know.

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