Identity theft and phishing are threats to all of us.  It’s not just bank accounts and credit cards that are at risk, your TSP could be vulnerable as well.  For many of us, our TSP account is our largest financial asset.  For a few of us, it’s our largest overall asset; worth more than our principal residence.

Here are some things that you should be aware of when it comes to protecting your TSP account.

There are only two reasons the Thrift Savings Plan will contact you by email; and in these emails they will never ask you for any personal information.  The reasons they would contact you are: 1) To confirm an account transaction that you initiated on the TSP website (and then, only if you provided them with your email when making the transaction).  2) To verify that you have provided your email address in the “My Account” section; this email is informational in nature.

The TSP will never contact you about any investment opportunities.

The TSP does not authorize third parties to provide and counseling or investment related services.  There are many reputable firms that do provide such services, but the TSP does not endorse any of them.  Always do your “due diligence” when choosing an adviser, or other party, to work with.

If someone refers to themselves as a “TSP Advisor” or “TSP Counselor” all that means is that is what they have chosen to call themselves.  There are no such designations approved by the Thrift Savings Plan.  Having said that, there are many financial advisors who are knowledgeable in the ways of the TSP; if you’re considering using one, make sure you’ve checked them out.

On their website, the TSP makes a few suggestions involving the security of your account.  First, Do not share your TSP account number, User ID, password or security question answers.

Second, review any correspondence you get from the TSP promptly when you receive it.

Third, log into your TSP account periodically to monitor your account activity.

Fourth, do not use an unsecured network to log into your TSP account.

If you suspect fraudulent activity, or if you want to check on calls or emails that claim to be from the TSP, contact the TSP via the Thriftline (1-877-968-3778) or by the secure message center on the TSP website.