Businessman with security concept in his hands

 

Many Americans have taken steps in recent years to protect their identity. According to one report, published in 2020, total dollars lost due to identity theft was $16.9 billion. If you haven’t taken measures to protect yourself, it may be a good idea to consider your options.1

Identity theft is a crime in which an individual illegally obtains and wrongfully uses another person’s personal information, such as a Social Security number, bank account number, or credit card number, generally, for financial gain. Once a thief has possession of your personal information, it may be used to obtain a loan, run up credit card debt, or commit other crimes.

Individuals can take four steps to help protect themselves against identity theft. These steps are represented by the acronym S.C.A.M.

S - Be STINGY when it comes to giving out your personal information. Make sure the person requesting the information is on a “need-to-know” basis. For example, someone who claims to be calling from your bank does not need to know your mother’s maiden name if it’s already on file with the bank.

C - CHECK your financial information periodically. If you get a hardcopy of your credit card and bank statements mailed to you, consider keeping these documents in a safe, secure location. Be skeptical if it appears the financial institution missed a month. Identity thieves may try to change the address on your accounts to keep their actions hidden from you for as long as possible.

A - From time to time, ASK for a copy of your credit report. This report shows bank and financial accounts in your name and may help provide evidence if someone has used your name to open another account. To obtain a report, contact any of the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, or Transunion.

Request Guide TRG

M - MAINTAIN good records of your financial accounts and obligations. Experts recommend that you keep hardcopies or electronic versions of monthly bank and credit card statements. Easy access to this information may make it easier to dispute a transaction, especially if your signature has been forged.

Government agencies, credit card companies, and individuals have become smarter about protecting data and identifying perpetrators. But identity thieves consistently devise new strategies to obtain personal information.

Having your identity stolen may result in out-of-pocket financial loss, plus the additional cost of trying to restore your good name. Help protect yourself by using caution when sharing your personal information and keeping an eye out for warning signs.

The Age of Risk

Instances of identity theft are more frequent among individuals aged 60 to 69.

The Age of Wisdom

Chart Source: Federal Trade Commission, 2019

1. Javelin Strategy & Research, 2020

 

 

This material was prepared by Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of The Retirement Group or FSC Financial Corp. This information should not be construed as investment advice. Neither the named Representatives nor Broker/Dealer gives tax or legal advice. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If other expert assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. Please consult your Financial Advisor for further information or call 800-900-5867.

 

The Retirement Group is not affiliated with nor endorsed by fidelity.com, netbenefits.fidelity.com, hewitt.com, resources.hewitt.com, access.att.com, ING Retirement, AT&T, Qwest, Chevron, Hughes, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, ExxonMobil, Glaxosmithkline, Merck, Pfizer, Verizon, Bank of America, Alcatel-Lucent or by your employer. We are an independent financial advisory group that specializes in transition planning and lump sum distribution. Please call our office at 800-900-5867 if you have additional questions or need help in the retirement planning process.

 

The Retirement Group is a Registered Investment Advisor not affiliated with FSC Securities and may be reached at www.theretirementgroup.com.



TheRetireKit

 

Tags: Financial Planning, Lump Sum, Pension, Retirement Planning