We are very mindful of the security of our client correspondence.
We hear some horrible stories about clients of other financial planning firms being duped by increasingly sophisticated and convincing scammers.
A recent trend is scammers impersonating an adviser and contacting a client of theirs to recommend an attractive savings account or investment. The email sent will look as though it had come from the adviser with footers, signatures and links copied, perhaps not brilliant copies, but good enough to fool someone.
The address this email is sent from is crucial with the scammers often changing just one letter, for example swapping an ‘i’ for an ‘l’ that a casual observer simply won’t notice.
The offending email asks for monies to be transferred to a specified bank account. By the time the scam is uncovered the scammers have moved the cash elsewhere and the bank involved will defend themselves by saying cash was transferred to a legitimate Ltd Co’s bank account so please kindly contact the police.
There are a number of actions you can take to protect yourself:
- ALWAYS have up to date anti-virus software on all your devices
- NEVER let anybody else have access to and / or control of your computer, especially if they say they are from a bank or investment provider
- Our recommendations are significantly detailed in a Statement of Advice of at least 9 or 10 pages with many more pages of Important Reading also enclosed. We ONLY send these documents via our online portal or in the post. Therefore be SUSPICISOUS of any emails from Chatfield asking you to transfer money that does not have this much detail accompanying it.
- If you do receive an email from Chatfield suggesting an investment, or even a straight-forward savings account, with a bank account details for transferring cash into, PHONE me or Adrian before doing anything else. We are highly unlikely to send you anything out of the blue or this concise! Also check the language used in the email, does it read like our normal email? Are there any typos? Is our email address spelt correctly?
- If you have, or even if you think you have, been targeted by scammers, change ALL your passwords. Yes, ALL of them!
- If any service you use offers TWO FACTOR AUTHENTICATION (also known as 2FA), use it. Yes, it’s a faff to buy something online and then have to enter a 6-digit number from a text message, but it’s significantly safer. Our online portal has 2FA and that is why we prefer to send our recommendations via this method; it’s secure, safe, quick, easy, better for the environment and cheaper than Royal Mail.
- NEVER use free public Wi-Fi – that’s how I got caught in Christchurch, NZ, a few years ago.
The above example is far from the only method people are scammed. I could give several more, but I hope you get the point already.
Above all, be vigilant. If anything looks too good to be true, it probably is and if anything looks odd, just phone us and ask.