You might not care much about it, but National 401k Day is coming up. This holiday lets you appreciate your hard work all these years and reflect how retirement-ready you are. While you’re preparing for this period in your life in noble ways, others refuse to retire from fooling people for money. To learn more about National 401(k) Day and how to protect your 401(k) from scammers, keep reading!
How To Tell if You’re Communicating With a Scammer
One basic yet effective way to protect your retirement funds is to determine if you’re communicating with a scammer. Stay alert, especially if you observe these signs:
- You receive unexpected calls, text messages, or emails. Scammers will tell you that your account is at risk, so they need you to update your information. They will include strange links and attachments that will collect your sensitive information.
- You are pressured to act immediately. While some scammers sound calm and confident at first, they’ll soon compel you to provide your personal information, complete a survey, subscribe to a pricey service, or purchase a product that doesn’t even exist. Legitimate organizations, whether private or government, will not force you to make such decisions straight away.
- They pretend to be someone from your company, bank, or financial service provider. However, if you ask them several questions, you’ll find some loopholes and discover that they don’t know what they’re saying.
- They will tell you that huge discounts await you, or you’ve won lottery prizes. However, they will ask for an up-front payment for the processing, including taxes.
How They Convince You To Use Your 401k To Pay Them
Given that 401(k) accounts usually contain higher amounts than your ordinary savings or checking account, scammers make the former a new target. However, they might start convincing you to pay for a low-priced product or service through your savings account. This way, it will be easier for them to access your 401k account information afterward.
Others will pretend to be from your employer’s retirement plan adviser. Then, they’ll try to educate you of your options, including new investments that will help you grow your money. To urge you to act fast, they’ll say the offer is time-sensitive. As they focus on your fears and goals, you might end up paying them using your 401k. Whether through emails, calls, or social media, they will give you overly attractive and senseless offers or baseless threats to convince you to pay them through your 401k.
How To Protect Your 401k on National 401k Day
It’s almost National 401(k) Day, and learning how to protect your 401k from scammers is a must, given that con artists always find new ways to accumulate huge amounts of money without breaking a sweat. So, protect your retirement savings with the following:
- Set up unique, strong, and different passwords. Using the same password for all your accounts is like inviting scammers to steal your identity and claim your retirement funds on your behalf.
- Use two-factor authentication. You may spend a few more seconds every time you log in. However, this feature allows you to have extra protection for your accounts.
- Monitor your account regularly. You need not do it every single day, but knowing that your money is still intact will give you peace of mind. In case there are strange activities, you can immediately contact your employer or the financial institution.
- Keep your mobile apps and computer software updated. Installing reliable antivirus software can help you avoid hacking and other security issues.
- Do not connect to a public wireless network as it will be easier for the scammers to gain access to your account.
- Research companies before deciding to invest. Instead of increasing your savings, you might just lose your entire 401k if you’ve trusted a fake financial organization.
What To Do if You’ve Been Scammed Out of Your 401k
The last thing that you would want to experience is getting scammed out of your 401k. However, if that happens, gather yourself together and follow these steps:
- Contact your employer’s retirement plan adviser immediately. They can tell you the proper steps to take to recover your money.
- Report 401k scams to the Employee Benefits Security Administration (ESBA) — a Department of Labor division. Prepare all the necessary documents and proof of scam.
- For identity theft problems, send your report to the Federal Trade Commission. Be detailed enough, so the agency can identify the patterns of these scams and protect others from getting victimized.
National 401k Day: How To Protect Your 401(k) With Social Catfish
National 401(k) Day reminds you to not only revisit your retirement plans but also remain vigilant as scammers might just wipe away your hard-earned savings. Aside from following the tips we have provided above, expose their real identity by using our reverse search platform!