Financial Expert Marion G. Cuff, CFS: Identity Theft
Marion G. Cuff, CFS
How can I protect myself against identity theft?
The chance that someone will assume your identity to open fraudulent bank or credit accounts is increasing as thieves become
more sophisticated. The best way to protect yourself is to try to prevent this from happening in the first place. Here are some
• Make a list of all of your credit cards, even those you don't carry in your wallet. Include account numbers and the names and
emergency phone numbers of each issuer. Store this in a secure place that's quickly accessible to you. Don't keep it in your
• If possible, don't let your credit card out of your sight when you use it to pay for a store or restaurant purchase.
• Don't carry your birth certificate or Social Security card in your wallet.
• Install a locked mailbox to prevent mail theft. Call your credit card company or bank immediately if your statement doesn't
show up on time.
• When dining out, keep your purse or wallet secure. Leaving it on the table when you go to the salad bar is a no-no.
• Use drive-through ATMs if possible. If you can't, use ATMs inside stores or in well-lit, well-trafficked areas. Never let anyone
see you type in your personal identification number, and don't write it on your ATM card.
• Shred preapproved credit card or loan applications, and those checks your credit card company mails you, before you throw
them in the trash.
• Check your bank statements as soon as you receive them, and order a copy of your credit report at least once a year. Check
it over for signs of fraudulent activity.
• If you live in a state that uses Social Security numbers on your driver's license, ask for a randomly assigned number.
• Don't give out your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number to anyone who calls you. Give them out only when
you have initiated the call.
• If you are concerned about a potential scam, call the local police.
If your wallet or personal identification is stolen, don't wait. Minimize potential damage by calling the police and other parties such
as your credit card companies, your bank, and the three major credit bureaus (Experian (888) 397-3742, Equifax (800) 685-1111,
and Trans Union (800) 680 - 7289 ). Ask each credit bureau to place a fraud alert on your credit report to alert creditors that your
financial information is or may be compromised.
Working with an advisor that holds the CFS designation does not guarantee investment success.
Securities and Investment Advisory services offered through FSC Securities Corporation, Member
FINRA/SIPC and a Registered Investment Advisor. The Grace Financial Group is a marketing
Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc. does not provide investment, tax, or legal
advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances.
To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and
cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.
Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her
These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly
available information from sources believed to be reliable—we cannot assure the accuracy or
completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and