ID-ology: A Planner's Guide to Identity Theft

Day, Jo; Day, Kevin
September 2004
Journal of Financial Planning;Sep2004, Vol. 17 Issue 9, p36
Academic Journal
This article discusses how financial planners can prevent identity theft. Identity theft occurs when someone uses someone's personal information, without his or her knowledge, to commit fraud or a crime. According to 2003 statistics from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), depending on the type of fraud committed, it took an average of 30 to 60 hours of a victim's time and $500-$ 1,200 out-of-pocket cost to recover from identify theft. First, a financial planner should recognize that, at some point, one of his or her clients will become an identity theft victim. In 2003, the FTC reported nearly ten million people had their identities compromised. This article relates the case of Gary Gardner, owner of Legacy Wealth Advisors, who has had three family members hit by identity theft within a six-month period. As of September 2004, there is no business model to prevent identity theft, according to Bob Hartle, identity theft victim turned victims' rights advocate. Hartle turned his ordeal with identity theft into a personal crusade. In addition to providing educational speaking, his nonprofit organization helps victims to identify theft for free and has a resource guide available at www.idfraud.org.


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