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September 24, 2011

Identification Theft Can Happen to Anyone

One of my clients had their Email account hacked.  Everyone in her/his contact list received an Email describing a situation where cash was needed immediately.  We do not know if anyone wired any money.  The remaining concern is Identity Theft.
The custodian of her/his investment accounts was alerted.  They described their asset protection and loss protection programs.  This is also why you get quizzed before they will talk to anyone about their accounts.
Additional steps should be taken to correct the situation and protect your Identity.  Get a new Email account and stop using the old Email address.  
All user names and passwords should be changed.  Even if your banking and/or investments are not online, there are vendors that withdraw funds from your bank account or charge your credit cards periodically.  Since they have personal information about you, you should change these user names and passwords.  
Your computer should be cleaned.  If someone was able to hack your Email, there is a high probability that there is a virus on your computer.  Having a good virus protection on your computer is a good idea.  Another step is to have your computer cleaned, even if you have a virus protection program.  You should review the setting on your current virus protection. 
Another step, would be to purchase Personal Identification protection.  Consider at least 6 months protection, although a year or two would provide more protection.  If you are thinking you do not need this protection, reflect how likely you thought it would be for someone to steal your Email address before it happened to you.  

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