Tag Archives: Cyber Crime

They are back … The Fraudsters that is !

This time garners the most important financial forms of the year flowing through the system … of course we are speaking of Tax Forms! (W-2, 1099, etc …..)

Tax Time = Fraudster Timethief

This week we fielded two and 1/2 possible fraud attempts. We are giving 1/2 to a email that we are not certain was fraud … No Matter.

Keep your guards up!

Last year we had double digit numbers of fraud during this season… the thing is, we did not see fraud until much later in the season. They may be starting earlier this year.

For the record, there has been no money lost on any of our known fraud attempts… we hope this never changes…. Stay Vigilant !

Happy Friday .. Enjoy Your Weekend ! Talk to you next week…

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

Cyber Security Updates … New Tactics Update Again !

Last week Donald “The Brain” attended a half day update on the latest Cyber Security breach tactics. cyber-reg-pic

Latest Tactics and Safety Recommendations

  • Wifi Virus- Do not use ANY free Wifi if possible – We know it is not always possible to avoid, but tether your phone if that option is available
  • Free Apps- These are becoming more plagued with virus’ – You get what you pay for- be careful
  • Smart Appliances- Virus carrying that can affect your home network

An ahaa moment occurred when Donald explained how the first item above works. People are sitting at airports and naming their personal network “ABC Free Wifi” and after an unsuspected connection occurs, all data is open along with your password and log ins.

A family meeting occurred on the second point and all unused apps were destroyed along with an agreement for a review before any new apps are downloaded. Be fearful of small, unknown apps the most.

During the seminar an example was also given of a refrigerator somehow contracting a virus and spreading it to the families home network.

Best Recommendation

The best way to attempt to avoid many of these items are to just keep it front of mind. We are not asking you to be paranoid… technology is fun and SUPER helpful with our daily lives. With all the neat connectivity, flexibility and control, abuse is certain to occur.

With a little forward thinking and caution, we can all navigate our way through these waters safely.

Have a Great “Cyber Safe” Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

Third time is charm for nasty 1 800 Virus – BEWARE

Over the summer, while out of the office upon visiting a non-professional web site, an announcement popped up and my computer began talking to me….

“Alert… alert… you are about to get a Virus on you computer… Call 1 800 …”

Third time is a Charm

Last week we heard of a third such incident of such virus… BEWARE !!

What is interesting is in our small sample, this same virus has invaded both Windows and Apple products… A few handy steps and remindersVirus

  • Do not call…it is a fake
  • Make sure you have updated the latest updates of your platform
  • Run a virus scan after you stop the program



Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde … invasive, but not as dangerous !

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.







Cybercrime – Hacking update – SHARK Week

We warned in mid May of an increase in cyber hacking as school gets out. Unfortunately we have not been wrong on this one… actually we understated the problem.

Cyber Hacks Up

We have seen MANY MORE email hacks than normal, especially this early in the summer. Keep your guards up and do not open suspicious emails… here are some helpful reminders:

  • Complex passwords for your log in (your name is NOT a good password as my 11 year old daughter learned on her snapchat account!)
  • Mind the wifi source – tether when uncertain
  • Careful when traveling – A purchase of an RFID resistant wallet kept my most recent trip uneventful, even though THE EXACT trip the last two consecutive times resulted in credit card fraud

Shark Week Returns

A family favorite that two years ago was moved from middle of August to late June, early July … Shark Week — It’s going on now!

Since fourth of July is a popular water related venture…we think the move was to remind those getting in …. OR just a timely screening !

Have a great Monday!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.



Summer = Increase Hacking

We topped out at 10 tax cyber hacks this year (10 people had some type of fraudulent tax related issue) and just as we all get ready for summer, we wanted to remind of a recurring theme we have seen over the last several years.

Increased Hacks during the summer

It is certainly not any of our kids, or any kids we know…of course not..BUT..

We do notice an increase in mostly non malicious cyber related issues over the summer. How does that saying go “Idle minds…..”

Keep your guards up this summer!

  • Do not open any weird looking emails, especially if they have odd links.
  • If you receive an odd mass email from someone you know, let them know they may have been hacked, it may save us all a few headaches.
  • Make your passwords strong by including a symbol.
  • Check the root web address carefully before you enter your information – if in doubt open another browser and surf to the link to see if it looks legit.
  • Take your time! Most of my miss haps have occurred while being careless and in unfamiliar web pages, such as looking for a unique sports statistic in unfamiliar web pages.

The good news is, with a little forethought we can avoid what is mostly a minor summer annoyance!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

Founder of J.K. Financial, Inc.
A Dallas Texas based fee only
Financial Planning Total Wealth
Management firm.

JK Street Cents Logo


My Identity stolen a third time ??? Yep … Friday

As a financial advisor we drink the EXACT same cool aid we have for clients   … Same investments, same conservative philosophy, long-term thinking, tax strategies, generally optimistic, but skeptical when necessary  … and well … I guess the same identity theft some have experienced lately!

On Tuesday of this week, I was notified by the IRS by mail, not just once, but two lovely envelopes, stating someone was trying to file taxes (not me) and there was a conflict. (Nothing associated with the office, all info from my home/personal address)

Wow… TWO TIMES … Does that mean two different people are trying, or just the same person twice ? I will let you know when I know! thief

Needless to say, keep your guards up!  Here , here and here are a few of our articles on this, which of course I have heeded myself!

Ahhhh, but today is a Friday and I am on the road for a short but fun trip out-of-town and back. Do not forget to spend time with those special in your life … Talk to you next week!

Get back cyber criminals!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225


Financial Officers BEWARE, cybercriminals are coming for you too !

Just when you thought it was safe to enter the office email waters (yaya, last week was shark week) cybercrime is headed your way. We have warned on a personal basis, here, here and here  of the trial and tribulations of cybercriminals … apparently they have been successful and are moving on to bigger fish.

Criminals Pose as Senior Executives

In this recent CFO.com article, reports of very similar email hacking into corporations that we have been warning against (links above) for individuals for some time.

  • Hacking an email account of an employee, buyer, or someone in the money receipt/payment area
  • Requesting an urgent quick need for payment of funds
  • Unable to talk in person as this time
  • New Bank Account Number for processing — WARNING WARNING WARNING

This is so close to what the criminals have been doing on an individual level it is amazing. It seems their success with individuals has emboldened them to go for bigger fish.

This from the CFO article:

“The average loss per victim is $55,000, but in some cases losses have exceeded $800,000, according to IC3 …”

YIKES … This is a much bigger take than we have been in contact with on an individual level.thief

Either as individuals or executives, let’s all be careful and try to stop this. The greater success they have, the more they will try.

Have a Great Day!

John A. Kvale CFA, CFP

8222 Douglas Ave # 590
Dallas, TX 75225 


Cyber Crimer’s ……. Say Hello to our Little Friend……Docusign!

Recently we have commented several times as we had expected cyber crime issues heading into the summer and have not been disappointed, specifically with email hijacking fraud this summer.

We think much of this is the old saying “Idle time devil’s workshop” however it is very hard to distinguish a bored school kid from a true criminal in cyberspace.

In addition to extra precautions we have initiated from our office, such as verbal contact and confirmation of directives, we have begun using a system called Docusign. This firm runs a system that is an electronic signature and online digital signature confirmation service.

When new documents are needed for almost ANY transaction, we in most cases, moving forward will use this service.

Here is how it works:

  • Almost any document needing a signature is uploaded into the system
  • We enter specific identifying information including email (s)
  • Super strong encryption occurs and the document is sent directly to the needed recipient/client, which can be two separate emails for joint signatures
  • Specific security questions are entered by the recipient proving identity then opening the document for review and easy electronic signature
  • Upon completion the document is re-encrypted and emailed to the institution (TDA, Bank, Mortgage company…ect…)
  • We/JK Financial are then notified of the completion and download a secure copy for our records

While nothing is 100% full proof, we hope you appreciate the steps we have taken to help insure ALL of our safety and the immediate use of cutting edge technological improvements.

Have a Great Day!


PS  A special thanks to those Guinea Pigger’s who have helped us test the system, you know who you are, and we much appreciate it ! (Clients, family members, and back office supporters)

214-706-4300   www.jkfinancialinc.com

The need for Stronger Passwords a Cyber Crime Update; Mature Audience Has Better Security

As the summer nears the mid-point, we suspect many younger, possibly bored, but computer literate individuals have found their way into what they think is playful but can turn to dangerous cyber crime.

Last week, we were the recipient of three new email hijackings, two is which were harmless and one not. While no damage was done in any of these situations, the invasiveness of having an email hijacked is uncomfortable at best and could always lead to complications in the future if not controlled. 

Hat tip to those 55 years or older, as a recent Yahoo study found that the mature computer user have passwords that are twice as strong as those under age 25.

Here are our recommendations for passwords:

  1. At least six characters in length
  2. Not your name or family member name
  3. Large cap letter
  4. Small Cap letter
  5. Number
  6. Most importantly, at least one symbol

Please also change your passwords occasionally as well. In our opinion a few times a year may suffice, many security experts suggest 90 days.

Don’t let a few minutes of inconvenience cause you grief, change your passwords regularly and make sure they are strong!

Have a Great Day!


214-706-4300   www.jkfinancialinc.com


Please Protect Yourself: A Cybercrime Disturbing Experience, the FBI notified

Last week we had a disturbing cyber crime attempt from a client’s compromised email and wanted to share the events with you for your possible security assistance.  The bottom line, we ask you please change your email and other passwords regularly and have a symbol included.

Here is why:

A client’s email was compromised (gmail account) which we have seen many times, but what made this unique was the hacker stepped into the conversation during a normal communication.  The initial conversation by the hacker was a reply to an earlier email, making the response seem very real. The possible assumption is that prior emails were read in order to understand the conversation.  We have been aware of this before and recently had a company meeting discussing just this topic, as such, we were immediately suspicious due to improper grammar and after a request for information and eventually funds, turned this information over to the FBI and notified our back office of the client’s breach.

No specific information was given, lost, or disclosed, however here is what we have learned:

  • Home machines are particularly susceptible to these breaches
  • AOL users are very commonly breached, however we have seen hotmail and now gmail users breached as well
  • Change your passwords regularly and make sure you have a symbol included
  • Run and keep malware or antivirus programs on your home machines
  • Turn your home machines off during non use times, the open static port for home use makes your machine more vulnerable when left on constantly

Coincidentally, with the Wednesday announcement last week of LinkedIn reporting they may have lost 60% of their passwords, we would expect this type of cyber crime to continue.

Have a Great Day!


PS I will be out of town tomorrow on a quick turn around trip.

214-706-4300   www.jkfinancialinc.com

The following information is from the Cyber crime division of the FBI and also offers some valuable tips:


How to Protect Your Computer

The same advice parents might deliver to young drivers on their first solo journey applies to everyone who wants to navigate safely online. A special agent in our Cyber Division offered the following:

– “Don’t drive in bad neighborhoods.”- “If you don’t lock your car, it’s vulnerable; if you don’t secure your computer, it’s vulnerable.” – “Reduce your vulnerability, and you reduce the threat.”

Below are some key steps to protecting your computer from intrusion:

– Keep Your Firewall Turned On: A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to gain access to crash it, delete information, or even steal passwords or other sensitive information. Software firewalls are widely recommended for single computers. The software is prepackaged on some operating systems or can be purchased for individual computers. For multiple networked computers, hardware routers typically provide firewall protection.

– Install or Update Your Antivirus Software: Antivirus software is designed to prevent malicious software programs from embedding on your computer. If it detects malicious code, like a virus or a worm, it works to disarm or remove it. Viruses can infect computers without users’ knowledge. Most types of antivirus software can be set up to update automatically.

– Install or Update Your Antispyware Technology: Spyware is just what it sounds like—software that is surreptitiously installed on your computer to let others peer into your activities on the computer. Some spyware collects information about you without your consent or produces unwanted pop-up ads on your web browser. Some operating systems offer free spyware protection, and inexpensive software is readily available for download on the Internet or at your local computer store. Be wary of ads on the Internet offering downloadable antispyware—in some cases these products may be fake and may actually contain spyware or other malicious code. It’s like buying groceries—shop where you trust.

– Keep Your Operating System Up to Date: Computer operating systems are periodically updated to stay in tune with technology requirements and to fix security holes. Be sure to install the updates to ensure your computer has the latest protection.

– Be Careful What You Download: Carelessly downloading e-mail attachments can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know, and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. They may have unwittingly advanced malicious code.

Turn Off Your Computer: With the growth of high-speed Internet connections, many opt to leave their computers on and ready for action. The downside is that being “always on” renders computers more susceptible. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an attacker’s connection—be it spyware or a botnet that employs your computer’s resources to reach out to other unwitting users.

For more information on Internet schemes and how to protect yourself online, see the following areas:

FBI Cyber Crimes StoriesNew E-Scams and WarningsBotnets and Hackers and Spam (Oh My!)FBI Cyber InvestigationsFile an Internet Crime Complaint