We appreciate you taking the time to review our 4th Quarter newsletter about fraud and the Wells Fargo account fraud scandal in the news, and hope that you are doing well.
Did you know…
In September it was reported that employees of Wells Fargo – one of the largest U.S. banks – secretly created millions of accounts and credit cards for their customers without the customers’ consent, in an effort to generate fees and meet internal goals for cross-selling new products to existing customers.
As the New York Times reported, “[s]ome customers noticed the deception when they were charged unexpected fees, received credit or debit cards in the mail that they did not request, or started hearing from debt collectors about accounts they did not recognize.”
As a result of these practices, Wells Fargo was fined a total of $185 million, which includes $100 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, $35 million by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and $50 million by the City and County of Los Angeles.
Regardless of who is your banker, this event is a cautionary tale for all of us who take seriously the security and responsible management of our personal finances. It illustrates the ongoing importance of carefully checking your accounts at the individual transaction level. Diligent consumers who noticed unusual fees played an essential role in uncovering this deception.
How this may affect you or someone you love: Many of our Senior clients suffer from a physical or cognitive impairment which makes it hard, if not impossible, to regularly review and manage their personal finances. By hiring a daily money manager either for yourself or your loved one, you are ensuring that financial accounts are going to be regularly monitored and reviewed. Ultimately, this will bring you or your loved one peace of mind knowing someone is in your corner helping prevent financial fraud and elder abuse. For more information on how we can help you or your loved one, contact us today at 678.828.4314.
** If you are a Wells Fargo customer, you should not need to take any action to be reimbursed for cards or accounts that you didn’t authorize. If Wells Fargo’s internal check indicates you were affected, the bank is required to reach out to you directly to reimburse you. If you want to be proactive, check your Wells Fargo online account to make sure no unauthorized account was created in your name, or call your local bank branch to verify this. Wells Fargo provided information to customers on this matter on this web page.
Tip of the day…
Track your expenses: There are very few people who will tell you they keep a close eye on their spending because it’s fun. Yet, monitoring expenses can help you get a better picture of where your money is going every month. Are you really spending $150 a month on Uber? Did you forget to cancel that extra Spotify premium account? If you don’t like what you see, you might be motivated to do something about it. If you don’t have the time or discipline to do it yourself, contact us today at 678.828.4314 and we can help.
For more tips, click here →
It’s good to laugh…
“If I could kick the person in the tail that causes me the most problems, I could not sit down for a week.” – Will Rogers (1879-1935)
It’s good to smile…
And it’s good to keep things in perspective…
Silently one by one
in the infinite meadows of heaven
Blossomed the lovely stars,
the forget-me-nots of angels.
— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Tales told about the stars reflect a lot about the people who tell them. The constellation now called Orion was once called Hippolyta. Hippolyta was one of the Amazon queens. The Amazons were women warriors who had four leaders instead of one: two older women and two younger women. Everyone could benefit from the experience and wisdom of the older and the strength and vigor of the younger.
After Hippolyta died, they named this constellation for her to honor her and remind themselves of her wisdom and bravery.
We can draw a good lesson from the value the Amazons placed on the contribution each one could make, no matter how young or old. When we remain alert to the possibility of learning from people we hadn’t seriously considered as teachers, we are reminded of our often forgotten value to others.
What can I offer in wisdom or strength to others today?
If you know of a busy professional who would benefit from our services, please feel free to share this video with them.
We appreciate you taking the time to review our 4th Quarter newsletter and hope that your New Year is off to a great start.
Chris Baker, CPA, Managing Director
Phone – 678.640.8512
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