Is Identity Theft Protection Part of Your Financial Plan? (Part 1 of 3)
Financial Planning is all about proactive vigilance and planning today for your financial future. You may think you have all your financial planning ducks in a row—emergency fund, retirement accounts, investment portfolio, estate plan, insurance, and so on—but what about an identity theft protection plan? Identity theft and fraud can send all you’ve worked for into a tailspin, destroying your current and future financial plans, credit, and even business and personal reputation.
The U.S. Department of Justice states that “identity theft” and identity fraud” are terms “used to refer to all types of crime in which someone wrongfully obtains and uses another person’s personal data in some way that involves fraud or deception, typically for economic gain.” Identity theft and identify fraud crimes are on the rise. Javelin Strategy & Research’s 2017 Identity Fraud Study found that “$16 billion was stolen from 15.4 million U.S. consumers in 2016, compared with $15.3 billion and 13.1 million victims a year earlier. In the past six years identity thieves have stolen over $107 billion.”
When a criminal is able to obtain enough identifying information about an individual, the criminal can take over the individual’s identity to assume a wide range of crimes in the identify theft and fraud arena including but not limited to:
- False applications for loans and credit cards;
- Fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts;
- Fraudulent use of telephone calling cards or online accounts; or
- Obtaining other goods or privileges which the criminal might be denied if the criminal were to use his or her real name.
Given the popularity of these identify theft and fraud crimes and what is at stake for victims of these crimes, long gone are the days when identify theft protection was considered optional or only necessary for higher-risk individuals. While you can hope for the best, you must also prepare for the worst. To best safeguard yourself, identify theft protection should now be a necessary element of your financial planning process.
Have you discussed identity theft protection with your financial planner or advisor? Failing to protect your identity can jeopardize your financial planning efforts and hard work. However, there are preventative measure you can take to minimize your risk for identify theft and fraud crimes. Be sure to check out the Summit Brokerage Blog for additional information on this blog topic including the most important steps you can take minimize your risk level and also what to do if you have become a victim of identity theft or fraud.
Summit Brokerage Services was voted the #1 boutique independent broker dealer in the country. To experience the Summit difference and learn more about our network of independent financial advisors, visit https://www.summitbrokerage.com or call us at (800) 354-5528.
To learn more and find a local Summit Financial Advisor you feel comfortable with, both personally and professionally, visit https://repoffice.summitbrokerage.com/locator/index.aspx
About Summit Brokerage Services, Inc.
Summit Brokerage Services is part of Cetera Financial Group. Summit Brokerage provides a broad range of securities brokerage and investment services to primarily individual investors. Summit Brokerage also sells insurance products, predominantly fixed and variable annuities and life insurance through its subsidiary, SBS Insurance Agency of Florida. Summit Brokerage also provides asset management services through its investment advisor, Summit Financial Group, Inc.
About Cetera Financial Group
Cetera Financial Group® (“Cetera”) is a leading network of independent retail broker-dealers empowering the delivery of objective financial planning advice to individuals, families and company retirement plans across the country through trusted financial advisors and financial institutions. Cetera is the second-largest independent financial advisor network in the nation by number of advisors, as well as a leading provider of retail services to the investment programs of banks and credit unions.
Through its multiple distinct firms, Cetera offers independent and institutions-based advisors the benefits of a large, established broker-dealer and registered investment adviser, while serving advisors and institutions in a way that is customized to their needs and aspirations. Independent financial advisor support resources offered through Cetera include award-winning wealth management and financial planning and advisory platforms, comprehensive broker-dealer and registered investment adviser services, practice management support and innovative technology. For more information, visit www.ceterafinancialgroup.com.
*”Cetera Financial Group” refers to the network of retail independent broker-dealers encompassing, among others, Cetera Advisors, Cetera Advisor Networks, Cetera Financial Institutions, Cetera Financial Specialists, First Allied Securities, Girard Securities, The Legend Group and Summit Brokerage Services.