Baron Financial Group is committed to keeping your personal information safe and educating you on how to remain vigilant. With that in mind, we are sharing this bulletin from Schwab regarding a recent scam involving pop-ups on computers or mobile devices.
We have not received notification of any fraudulent activity with Baron Client Accounts.
The following is an educational communication from Schwab to make you aware of what scams to look out for:
Be on guard for a new sophisticated tech support scam
This advanced scheme combines elements of electronic tech support scams with impersonation of real personnel at the Federal Reserve and Schwab to attempt to obtain the clients’ assets and sensitive data.
The scam works as follows:
- Clients receive a pop-up message appearing to be from either Microsoft or Apple warning that their computers have been compromised.
- The pop-up instructs clients to call a provided "tech support" number that of course connects them to a fraudster.
- After speaking with the fraudsters, they will be contacted by someone claiming to work for Schwab as a "security officer", who informs them their Schwab account is "compromised". In order to protect them, the Schwab employee impersonator tells the client they must transfer their funds into an account in "federal custody", and their money will be returned in three business days, once their account has been "encrypted" for safety.
4. Once the client follows these instructions, their money disappears.
To make the story believable, clients are receiving personalized paper letters in the mail that purport to be from the Federal Reserve, referencing the real name and titles of genuine Schwab personnel, tech company employees, and FDIC analysts who are supposedly the individuals contacting them by phone. The letter encourages clients to verify each person's identity through their LinkedIn profiles, making the scam even more convincing.
How clients can protect themselves, and what they should do if contacted:
- Do not 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 Schwab accounts to anyone.
- Verify all requests verbally with Baron or with Schwab.
- Clients should avoid providing any personal identifying information in an email or over the phone, even if they say they're calling from Schwab.
- Note: Clients can verify that they're speaking with Schwab by hanging up and calling a Schwab phone number that is known to them.
Please contact Schwab and Baron Financial Group immediately to report all suspicious or fraudulent activity.
As part of our Responsible Guidance platform, we have created a multi-part video series to educate you on cybersecurity. It is important to stay vigilant to the ever-increasing cyber threats that invade our inbox. You can view our cybersecurity videos here.
Disclosure: This is a general communication being provided for informational purposes only. This material is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research, legal, tax or investment advice.