Well, it has finally happened. Someone out in the vastness of the internet was able to obtain my personal information and use it to try to fraudulently withdraw funds from my accounts. But this was not the normal type of fraud. This was someone who contacted an insurance company where I owned my life insurance policies.
These fraudsters managed to change the mailing address on all of the policies along with the email address the company had on record. Because these were permanent policies, they had accumulated substantial cash value over the years. So, the next day they requested the loan and surrender values on two of the policies.
It just so happen that I was in the process of reviewing these policies a few days after the request was made when I noticed the changes and contacted the company to ask what had happened. The company stated the request for the changes came via phone call, but I told them it was not from me.
Review your policies more often than you have been. This is a new and troubling direction for fraud.
As soon as I contacted the company, they advised me the changes were being reversed and that the incident was being turned over to their fraud department. If I hadn’t been diligent in my policy reviews, and too much time elapsed from the occurrence of the fraud, significant cash value could have been lost to this perpetrator.
Oh, I’m sure the company would have covered any potential loss, but the emotional effect would have been significant.
So, here is my point. Review your policies more often than you have been. This is a new and troubling direction for fraud, which may have delays from the date of occurrence until you are notified in writing or email—or at all.
We read about the hacking of private information from companies like Target and Experian. It is only a matter of time before someone out there tries to use this data to their gain and your loss. Be diligent in protecting and reviewing all your financial account.