Broker Check

Practical Steps for Identity Theft

November 01, 2023

It’s happened to all of us. The phone rings and you don’t recognize the number. Should you answer or let it go to voice mail?

What if it's one of the kids who are in trouble calling from a different number? What if it's a client and you don't recognize the number?  What if it's a friend in need? 

You decide to answer and the person asks for some of your personal information in order to fix a problem you didn’t even know you had.

Statistics show that 1 in 5 will become a victim of this type of crime.  

Billions are lost annually to fraudulent scams.  

Here are four ways to help protect you from becoming one of those statistics.

  1. Beware Alert

Never give out your information over the internet, phone or by mail, unless you’re sure about who will be receiving it. If it seems too good to be true, investigate first!

You can learn about the latest scams by visiting the website shown on the screen:

  1. Dispose your personal information properly

Be sure to securely shred or delete sensitive documents and information. Wiping old electronics of all information before you dispose of them can also help prevent identity fraud. 

  1. Get creative with passwords

Create a strong password using more than six characters, a mix of letters and numbers, both upper and lowercase letters, and punctuation marks, such as exclamations. Avoid using your pet’s name, date of birth or other easily identifiable personal information.  

  1. Secure your browser

If you want to ensure your browser is secure, look for “https” at the beginning of the web address (the “s” stands for “secure”). Only access your accounts using networks and computers that you know are safe. 

In closing, new scams are popping up every day. It’s impossible to know about all of them in advance so feel free to contact our office, if you are unsure, and we will be happy to help. 

Securities offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc. Stonegate Financial is not a registered broker/dealer and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Any opinions are those of Stonegate Financial and not necessarily those of Raymond James.  Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.  The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.