WHAT IS IDENTITY THEFT?
Identity theft occurs when someone uses another individual's private information, (e.g., Social Security number, birth date, account number, user ID, password) to represent themselves as that person for fraudulent purposes.
According to the non-profit Identity Theft Resource Center, identity theft is "sub-divided into four categories:
- Financial Identity Theft - using another's name and SSN to obtain goods/services
- Criminal Identity Theft - posing as another when apprehended for a crime
- Identity Cloning - using another's information to assume their identity in daily life
- Business Identity Theft - using another's business name to obtain credit
COMMON TECHNIQUES OF IDENTITY THEFT
The best way to avoid identity theft is to be aware of the common practices and techniques used by thieves:
- Stealing mail or rummaging through rubbish (dumpster diving)
- A fake website or e-mail designed to impersonate a real one (spoofing)
- Eavesdropping on public transactions to obtain personal data (shoulder surfing)
- Stealing personal information in computer databases (trojan horses, hacking)
- Infiltration of organizations that store large amounts of personal information
- Impersonating a trusted organization in an electronic communication (phishing)
- Electronic email requiring you to respond to alleged contests, etc. (spam)
- Using another arguably illegal reason to victimize individuals who display their personal information in good faith, such as landlord-related fraud, where the Patriot Act is used to create suspicion on prospective tenants, and then using their personal information to commit fraud.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF
Here are some steps to remember in order to protect your identity and accounts.
- Guard your personal information
Personal information (such as your PIN, Social Security number, date of birth, etc.) should be protected and not given out to any person or company or in an e-mail unless you are familiar with them.
- Do not use debit cards when shopping online.
Use a credit card because you are better protected in case of fraud.
- Check your credit report regularly
Guard against identity theft by checking your credit report on a regular basis. If you do not, months could pass before you discover that your identity has been stolen.
- Destroy mail before discarding
Financial documents contain your personal information. These documents should be shredded before you discard them.
- Stop paper delivery of your LWM statements and trade confirmations
By enrolling in the eDelivery service, you can avoid having paper statements and trade confirmations mailed to your home. Stealing mail is another means used to commit identity theft. Ask your Wealth Manager for more information on switcing to eDelivery.
PROTECT YOUR IDENTITY ONLINE
Communicate with us via the "Contact Us" form on the LWM website.
Our "Contact Us" form is a secure way of contacting us. If you receive suspicious e-mail that appears to come from Larsen Wealth Management, please use the "Contact Us" form to alert us.
Be suspicious of any unsolicited e-mail from Larsen Wealth Management that:
- Asks for account numbers, passwords, PINs, or Social Security numbers
No reputable financial institution will ever request your personal information (account number, Login password, Social Security number) in either a nonsecure or unsolicited e-mail communication.
- Threatens account closure
If you get an e-mail that warns you that an account of yours will be shut down unless you reconfirm your billing information, do not reply or click on the link in the e-mail.
- Greets you with a generic name
We will never send you e-mail that is addressed to "LWM Client."
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE A VICTIM OF IDENTITY THEFT
If you think you may be a victim of identity theft, contact the
HERE ARE SOME OTHER RECOMMENDED STEPS:
- Report the theft to the credit bureaus and request that a "fraud alert" be placed on your file.
- Request copies of credit reports.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Contact the fraud departments at your financial institutions
- Contact your local police department and ask to file a report
- Most importantly, document your steps
If you suspect you have received a fraudulent e-mail that appears to have been sent from LWM, please contact your Wealth Manager immediately.