Client Advisor, Amanda Thomas, shares some tips on how you can keep your accounts safe and secure.
How to Avoid a Secret Change of Address
You just received a letter from the U.S. Postal Service in the mail letting you know that your change of address has been confirmed, but you never put through a change of address! This actually happened to a friend of mine. When she notified the USPS, they told her that someone had gone online using her credit card and purchased the USPS change of address kit for $1.00. Unbeknownst to her, a week earlier, her mail had been fraudulently forwarded to an address in another state, and that fraudster had been using her credit card for illegal purchases. If my friend had only noticed that her card had some fraudulent charges, she would have ordered a new credit card, and then that new card would have been mailed to the fraudster’s forwarded address to start charging all over again! What can you do to help prevent this?
If you have any fraudulent charges on your card, call the USPS to see if a change of address has been submitted in your name. Always monitor your credit card activity and set up email or text alerts for any charges on your card so you can catch any fraudulent ones early. Do the same on your bank accounts. Have a credit monitoring system in place such as LifeLock or TransUnion, that will alert you if any new accounts are opened in your name.
How to Avoid Losing Access to a Loved One's Digital Info
Your loved one just passed away, and as you start settling their estate, you realize that you don’t have access to any usernames or passwords of the deceased’s online accounts or emails. Many online companies will not easily release this info to the executor of an estate, and if they do, it may not be access to all of the info you need. What can you do?
First, there is now wording you can put in your will, trust, or durable power of attorney for finance documents, that gives your agent or executor legal access to your digital files or the ability to call the online company to request it.
Secondly, you can set up a password application on your phone or computer such as Zoho Vault or LastPass, that stores all of your digital data and passwords so that you can both access this info.
At Mission Wealth we help you clarify and prioritize your short and long term goals and aspirations. We provide you with insight, including the probability of success of reaching your goals and we provide solutions for enhancing that success rate over time. This process is instrumental in maximizing your financial wealth and security. Our clients work with a dedicated Client Advisor, someone who knows you well and who you can trust. Our advisors are all highly trained and educated, and are focused on delivering world class service to our clients. Each client has a dedicated team to support them in their goal achievement. Furthermore, each advisor may utilize the expertise of other firm staff for specific projects, such as estate planning or investments.
MS, CFP®, CDFA™
About the Author
Amanda has over 30 years of financial experience. Prior to joining Mission Wealth in 2006, Amanda spent 11 years as a Vice President in Private Banking at Northern Trust Bank in Santa Barbara, working with high net worth clients and their banking, investment, and trust needs.