As you likely are aware, identity theft is a growing problem that’s affecting more and more people every day.
You can be assured that the financial services industry takes this offense very seriously and goes to great lengths, at all levels, to guard against fraud.
Strict regulatory standards are in place to protect the personal financial information of investors like you from falling into the wrong hands. Even so, with the costly crime of identity theft on the upswing across the U.S., it pays to take some simple precautions to reduce thieves’ access to your personal data.
- Don’t give out your Social Security number.
- Don’t carry extra credit cards or checks in your purse or wallet.
- Ignore unsolicited phone calls, mail and emails seeking pertinent personal data like your bank or brokerage account information, passwords or PINs.
- Shred any information that a thief could use to establish an identity in your name.
- Check your credit report annually for errors. You can get your credit reports for free - for more information, go online to www.annualcreditreport.com.
For more suggestions on preventing identity theft, visit the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/data/idt.shtm.