Fraudulent Emails - A Client's Story of a Schwab Look-Alike
Submitted by S. F. Ehrlich Associates, Inc. on August 23rd, 2017
August 15, 2017
A client forwarded an e-mail that had all the trademarks of a communication from Charles Schwab. Fortunately, our client was savvy enough to realize it was not sent by Schwab, but by someone seeking his log-in credentials. He forwarded it to me, and I sent it on to Schwab’s security team.
It’s called ‘phishing’, and it involves an attempt by criminals to get you to respond to their e-mail by thinking it’s legitimate correspondence from your custodian, bank, or credit card company. When you log-in, they record your key strokes, and can in turn log into your account. With any luck and a bit of skill, they can transfer funds out before you (or the institution) realize the money is gone.
Should you ever receive any suspicious e-mail, start by looking at the return address. Does it say Schwab.com? When in doubt, or always, Google the 800# of the bank or custodian (NEVER call the 800# on the e-mail, as the ‘representative’ on the line may be a Ukrainian speaking heavily accented English) and call to inquire as to the origin of the correspondence.
If the questionable e-mail is from Schwab, start by calling us, and then forward us the e-mail. When in doubt, contact the Schwab Alliance Team: 800 515-2157.
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