Run-In with Online Thieves from Austin Estate Planning Lawyer Liz Nielsen

Run-In with Online Thieves

We have all heard the typical online scams, ranging from e-mails from a Nigerian Prince to emails from your cable service provider reaching out to you to confirm your social security number.  Try as we might to keep informed of potential online thieves, it seems it can happen to best of us.

A notable victim of online theft is Austin resident, Richard Overton, who is the oldest living United States war veteran. Overton served in the U.S. Army through 1945, during WWII.  Overton bravely fought in and survived one of the most historical wars, but even he was not off limits for these thieves.

Recently one of 112 year-old Overton’s bank accounts was completely emptied. The Austin American Statesman reports that the “account had been drained from someone who had accessed the 112-year-old’s social security number and checking account number. The money was used to purchase saving bonds with Treasury Direct.”

The power of the internet seems to be both a blessing and a curse. It gives these online thieves easier access to our information. However, it also allows us to keep a close eye on and monitor all of our accounts. Overton’s cousin, Volma Overton, noticed that Overton’s account was empty while depositing money and was thankfully able to obtain repayment of the lost money. It is unlikely that Overton, at his impressive age, would have noticed the money was missing.

It is important to meet with your estate planning attorney to ensure your financial power of attorney is up to date and effective so that, if necessary, a loved one can assist you with financials and ensure no one is mismanaging or stealing your money. Another planning action you can take is to maintain a list of your online account’s user names and passwords. This will assist your agent with direct access to your accounts at all times to monitor for any online thieves.

Nielsen Law PLLC provides family focused estate planning to individuals and families in Austin, Round Rock, Cedar Park, and the Central Texas area.  For more information and to learn about our firm, please contact us.