Technology has made our lives more efficient with free email, a wide variety of apps and social media platforms to keep in touch. This same technology, while convenient and easily accessible, has also exposed us to risk.

Cybercriminals often use publicly available information to hack email accounts, gain trust and find clever ways to verify transactions with high net worth families. How can families be vigilant when accepting cash disbursement requests?


Be Skeptical of Email Requests for Cash Disbursements

Make sure that the email address, phone number, or other contact information provided is consistent with what's on file. Cybercriminals often use fake email addresses that resemble the legitimate one.


Keep an Eye Out for Time-Sensitive, Hard-to-Verify Requests

Be wary if the person asking for a disbursement insists that they need the money quickly and is difficult to get a hold of for verification, claiming they are "in meetings" or "on vacation."


Don't Overlook Inconsistent or Unusual Behavior

If you think the request is inconsistent, or if it's asking for a disbursement to a new account or foreign country, trust your instincts.


How much money was lost to cybercrime in the U.S. in 2015.


Percentage of parents who worry their children will make the family vulnerable to online crime.


The number of people affected by cybercrime annually.

“Most cybercrimes are those of easy opportunity, much like leaving the front door to your house unlocked.”
The best way for families to protect against cybercrime is to be proactive
Reach out and verify

Question every email and call family members to verify disbursement requests. They may resist at first, but will soon come to appreciate the extra security.

Secure all access points and computers

Help your family secure home and office Wi-Fi networks and make sure they are using anti-virus software with the latest security patches.

Identify risky behavior

Many people don't realize the risks of using unsecured email or public Wi-Fi networks, or know that advertising family travel on social media can be dangerous.

  • Disclosure

    This material is provided for illustrative/educational purposes only. This material is not intended to constitute investment or financial advice. Effort has been made to ensure that the material presented herein is accurate at the time of publication. However, this material is not intended to be a full and exhaustive explanation of all of the investment or financial options available. The information discussed herein may not be applicable to or appropriate for every investor and should be used only after consultation with professionals who have reviewed your specific situation. BNY Mellon Wealth Management conducts business through various operating subsidiaries of The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. ©2017 The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation. All rights reserved.