Financial Service ID Theft - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Financial Service ID Theft

October 10, 2005

By: Sharon Epperson

Undated--Shredding documents and hiding your pin number can't necessarily protect you from identity theft. It's become a fast growing crime and scam artists who target financial service firms could put your personal information at risk.

A survey by the Gartner Group found ID theft in which personal data has been used to establish credit or steal funds from financial accounts cost consumers and finance companies nearly 12-billion dollars last year.

Brokerage firm RBC Dain Rauscher has alerted its 300-thousand clients that some of their personal information may have been stolen from someone claiming to be a former employee.

Data losses and possible security breaches this year at Master card International, Wachovia, and Ameritrade have raised concerns about identity theft.

And now some worry that banks, having relaxed customer verification rules to aid hurricane victims in re-establishing their accounts may entice financial fraud.

These events underscore the importance of protecting your identity and your financial accounts. Get a copy of your credit report and look for any suspicious activity. As of September first, everyone is entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies.

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