On October 3rd, Apriem Advisors held our tenth Women of Wisdom (WOW) event of the year and the final topic of 2019 was “Protecting Your Identity!” We felt so fortunate to have Kara Suro, VP of Charles Schwab Fraud & Senior Vulnerable Investigations Team as our keynote speaker. The teams Kara oversees provide enterprise-wide investigations coverage relating to financial and cyber fraud against clients, and fraud/regulatory violations by Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) using Schwab’s Advisor Services platform. In other words, she is a fraud & cybercrimes expert who was excited about the opportunity to help a group focused on educating, empowering and protecting women! Furthermore, with such a high demand for Kara’s specialty we ended up hosting 2 additional events in Torrance on the following day to account for an overflow of attendance.

Did you know:

  • There was a total of 383 million records compromised in the 2018 Marriott hack?
  • That the top fraud threat today are Phishing attacks?
  • Real estate scams can result in some of the largest dollar losses? (Average attempt amount: $300K)
  • Online Romance scams are one of the most common types of fraud attempts?

So how can we begin to protect ourselves?

  • Start by protecting your accounts by using:
    • Two-step verification
    • Voice ID
    • Verbal passwords
    • Transaction alerts
  • Use unique & strong passwords that are different across platforms.
    • Using a password manager can help you to keep track of all your passwords in a safe way.
  • Report fraud attempts to:
    • Your financial institution
    • Local police
    • FBI
    • The 3 credit bureaus, if necessary.
  • Stay educated at: Schwab.com/SchwabSafe

Kara shared so much great information and insights, however my biggest takeaway came from a joke, she told us:

There were two men camping in the woods who were suddenly approached by an angry bear. One of the men quickly crouched down and started tying his shoes.

The other man said “what are you doing? You can’t outrun a bear”

To which the first man replied “I don’t need to outrun the bear… I just need to outrun you!”

If the angry bear represent today’s cyber-criminal, which man will you be? Are you going to be the first man, who would utilize a few extra layers of protection, figuratively out running the second man?

In the words of Kara Suro, “while these criminals are smart, they are also lazy and seeking the low hanging fruit. If you have extra security they will mostly just move on to the next easier target.”

You can view the presentation by Clicking Here