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Protect Yourself and Your Money

Protect Yourself and Your Money

June 09, 2023

Protect Yourself and Your Money

As someone who has had their identity actually stolen, this subject is particularly important to me. My information was stolen while I was in the hospital in 2014, and I didn't find out for 6 months when a collection agency called about a credit card balance on an account I never applied for. Fortunately, it wasn't that difficult to fix, but that is not the case for many.

We all get dozens of emails and calls each day from less than reputable sources. Lately, because of an uptick in activity, I've been increasingly worried about potential scams my clients may fall victim to.

While every request for your personal information may not amount to anything, there is always a chance it could be detrimental. As always, we urge you to proceed cautiously and take steps to protect yourself especially when responding to phone inquiries or unsolicited emails.

We know you've heard this a thousand times - but we'll say it again.

  • The IRS or the Social Security Administration won't contact you initially by phone.
  • Never provide your log-in & password.
  • Don't give out your social security number to just anybody.
  • Attorneys & bail aren't paid with gift cards of any sort.
  • And be wary when clicking on suspicious links & emails. This is a big one! In a busy world where some of us are getting 100 - 200 emails a day, it's easy to have a temporary lapse in judgement.
  • Remaining diligent is an important step towards protecting your identity and finances. 

Protecting your social security number is paramount. Criminals can do all sorts of damage with those 9 numbers! So, please do not offer this information to just anyone. You should feel some sense of comfort providing your Social Security number to the following organizations:

  • Financial Institutions
  • IRS
  • Credit Bureaus
  • Loan Applications
  • Employers
  • College Records

If another business not listed above is asking for it, you should inquire about alternative ways for them to identify you. Often your social security number isn't necessary for the power company or even at the doctor's office. Remember, mine was stolen while I was flat on my back hooked up to IV's.

If you believe you have been conned, contact law enforcement immediately and document as many details as you can. From there you should contact - family & friends, your financial institutions, the 3 credit bureaus, the Social Security Administration(SSA), the Federal Trade Commission(FTC), your state's attorney general's office and if applicable the business that was represented in the scam.

While it may seem like a lot of calls to make, by contacting all of these people and agencies you'll have taken the best steps to protect yourself, your assets and help others to not also fall victim to similar scams.