Hackers are targeting retirement accounts, experts warn

Posted at 3:46 PM, Jan 15, 2020

As banks make it more difficult for hackers to get into their systems, criminals are now trying to get into retirement accounts.

There are a couple of reasons why hackers would target a 401(k) and other types of retirement accounts.

First, there are usually significant amounts of money in these accounts.

Second, there are usually fewer safeguards when it comes to access.

Consumer groups are finding that getting your retirement account breached may hurt you more in the long run.

“There's no guarantee that the financial institution that holds your retirement account will return the money that's been stolen from you,” says Adam Garber, a consumer watchdog with U.S. PIRG. “They're not under obligation to do so, unlike the case of a credit card or a bank.”

Some financial institutions may have standards in place to return your money if this happens to you. But it's not federally required.

Instead, experts suggest you practice good cyber hygiene.

“The old advice of ignoring your retirement account and letting it grow may leave you with a financial cavity that will ruin your retirement years down the road,” Garber says.

Instead, you should check your account regularly.

Make sure if there is an address change, that notifications are sent to you by mail.

Also, be careful when checking your email and don't click on any links from people you don't know.