phishing (DesignPrax/Shutterstock.com)

Thrift Board taking steps to protect participants from fraud

The manager of the federal retirement system is looking to protect its more than 5 million participants from the risk of phishing attacks and marketing fraud.

The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board's (FRTIB) Office of Financial Services is seeking a vendor to help combat online fraud aimed at plan participants on multiple fronts, including cybersquatting, phishing and counterfeit trademarks.

The Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) used by federal employees and retirees is the largest defined contribution plan anywhere, with more than $600 billion under management. In recent months FTRIB has rolled out a redesigned website for users to access their accounts and make changes to their allocations and distributions. The new request for information reflects concerns that plan participants could be subject to attempts by hackers to extract personal information or unwittingly relinquish account access.

FRTIB's RFI asks vendors to explain capabilities in seven areas, including online brand monitoring, trademark enforcement and domain registration. Interested companies have until Oct. 1 to submit their documents showing how they are uniquely qualified and capable of providing FRTIB and TSP with the support to combat fraud and risk.

The antifraud campaign comes as TSP and FRTIB are rolling out new protocols to strengthen internal security measures. In May, FRTIB announced that over 130,000 users had opted-in to using two-factor authentication to secure their accounts, ahead of a December deadline that will make 2FA mandatory for all users who want to access their spending accounts.

FRTIB seeks responses by Oct. 1.

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Contributors

Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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