Yesterday, I was amused to find myself briefly thinking about how I would start spending my $1.5 billion this morning if I won the eye-popping Powerball jackpot. Then I overheard others discussing the same thing. At the office. In the coffee shop. On the train.
Imagine how many conversations like that occurred across the country this week. Yesterday: a nation with a million hopes. Today: 84 (not 3!) giddy, dizzy, gob-smacked winners – with one major new headache.
The Security Challenges Can Be Overwhelming
Well, make that two. And let’s assume you are the winner. First, you no longer know who your friends are – because you can’t tell which one doesn’t want a big bite out of your new billion-dollar lunch. And, secondly, because everyone looks at you like you’re the GEICO Motorcycle Money Man, you’ve got some serious security issues.
Photo courtesy: http://www.dcpproductions.net/work/
Eight Tips for Powerball Winners
After you figure how to get that huge check into your ATM machine, take a deep breath – and start thinking in fresh new ways. About the security of yourself and your family. Your financial wealth and assets. Your many new cars and homes. And your private information – as well as your public image and reputation.
Here are eight security best practices for high net worth families you should consider following:
1. Be alert when shopping – Thieves often select targets by following home individuals emerging from high-end retail locations like jewelry stores and fashion boutiques.
2. Pick hotels that understand the value of your security – Avoid an Erin Andrews-Like Incident and select the places you stay with care.
3. Travel with care and vigilance – Brush up on international travel security and the Top 12 Steps You Should Take to Protect Your Life (and Your Wallet). Or consult the Five Leading Online Sources for Airport Security, Safe Travel Tips and International Travel Warnings.
4. Do your due diligence – As people approach you asking for money, proposing business plans and making suggestions on where and how you should invest your money, trust – but verify. Before you decide to launch a business with your new partner, do your due diligence, as former NFL player Marques Ogden learned the hard way, it’s easy to lose it all over one poor business or financial decision.
5. Counter the risks of kidnapping with technology: Consider using GPS technology to track children or loved ones – or your luggage and other valuables.
6. Monitor threats – Protect your reputation – and monitor threats – by identifying negative, defamatory, inaccurate or threatening online references or comments can help you and your family be prepared for a potential attack.
7. Know about electronic threats and risks: Make cyber security a top priority.
8. Stay abreast of the latest threats to those with wealth: Like what? Anesthetic gas attacks in which thieves use pressurized containers to pump sleeping gas into your air conditioning unit, which distributes the gas into rooms throughout the house.
Securing your family and assets isn’t always at the top of the list of things to do after winning the lottery, but it should be one of your top concerns. The chances of winning the lottery are one in 292.2 million, but your chances of being a target after winning are far greater.