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Created: June 14, 2024
Modified: June 14, 2024

Identity Theft – Tips with an FBI Agent

At Johnson Brunetti, we understand the unique vulnerabilities that come as we age. At our recent community event, Protect Your Identity & Secure Your Retirement, we brought financial wisdom and law enforcement together with insights from Joel Johnson, CFP® and Jeff Lanza, a retired FBI Special Agent with over two decades of experience fighting identity theft and various scams.

Jeff and Joel joined a special edition of Better Money on WFSB Channel 3 to share some tips and tricks for anyone who may have missed the event!

The Importance of Protecting Your Identity

Most of our clients are between 55 and 70 years old, either approaching retirement or recently retired. While market investment risks are always a concern, another significant risk is falling victim to scams, which can have devastating financial consequences. It’s crucial to educate people on how to protect themselves.

Top Tips to Safeguard Your Identity

  1. Create an online Social Security account. This prevents others from creating one in your name and keeps your information secure.
  2. Freeze your credit reports. This makes it harder for identity thieves to open new accounts in your name.
  3. Protect your information. Be cautious about sharing personal details, especially over the phone or online.

    Common Scams and How to Avoid Them

    People often receive phone calls or text messages that appear to be from the IRS or Social Security Administration. These agencies will not call you; they will send mail. If someone calls claiming to be from these agencies, it’s a scam. They are likely trying to steal your identity or money.

    Ditch Mailbox Checks and Go Digital

    Stop writing checks and putting them in the mailbox with the flag up, which can attract thieves. One tip when writing checks is to use gel pens so the ink can’t be easily washed off, or better yet, pay bills electronically. Online bill pay is much more secure than mailing checks.

    Ensuring Account Security

    At Johnson Brunetti, we handle sensitive personal and financial information, so it is critical to authenticate account requests thoroughly. This process includes calling clients back and using multiple verification methods. Additionally, it’s a good idea to set alerts on your financial accounts to promptly detect any unauthorized transactions.

    Information presented in our podcasts is considered current as of the created date. Over time, some information presented may become stale. We recommend you consult with your Financial Professional before making any changes based on information contained here.

    Johnson Brunetti is a marketing name for the businesses of JB Capital and JN Financial.

    Investment Advisory Services offered through JB Capital, LLC. Insurance Products offered through JN Financial, LLC.

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