How to Protect Your Personal Information
Hilliard Lyons is committed to protecting your privacy. We have implemented a number of controls to protect confidential client information including the following measures:
- We train our employees to protect client information and restrict access for employees to only those employees who have a legitimate business need for the information.
- We have implemented physical and electronic safeguards to ensure client information is always stored in secure locations.
- Our policies and procedures provide for the proper physical security of workspaces and records.
- We require vendors that provide services on our behalf to take appropriate steps to safeguard client information. We provide these vendors only with information we believe is necessary to fulfill their responsibilities, and we prohibit them from using the information for any other purpose.
- Our website uses state-of-the-art encryption to secure your data for online transmissions.
How to help protect yourself from identity thieves
Hilliard Lyons will never send any type of communication requesting account numbers, passwords, or other personal information. If you are suspicious of any information you receive from us, please contact your Financial Consultant immediately.
- Never give out personal information to individuals you do not know over the phone.
- Never share your user ID or passwords to online accounts with anyone.
- Monitor all brokerage, bank, and credit card statements monthly. If there is activity you do not recognize, immediately call that institution for details about the transaction.
- Report all lost or stolen checks, ATM, or Check cards as soon as you discover they are missing.
- Store your extra checks, deposit slips, and canceled checks in a secure, locked location so they are not accessible to guests, contractors, etc., and always destroy statements that contain your personal information.
- Monitor your credit report yearly. Look for unknown accounts that you did not initiate and unusual activity in existing accounts.
- Make a list of all brokerage, bank, and credit card numbers with their respective customer service phone numbers and keep in a safe place for reference.
- Always shred documents that contain your private information.
If you think your identity has been stolen or you suspect you are a victim of fraud, there are a number of steps you can take to limit the damages to your finances and protect your personal and financial interests:
1. Immediately contact the financial institution
Once alerted of fraud or identity theft, financial institutions can ensure that access to your account(s) is protected, place a freeze on the accounts, place stop-payment instructions on missing checks, change Personal Identification Numbers (PINS) and/or online passwords, and open new accounts as appropriate.
You should also check with the financial institution to ensure that no one has requested an address change, asked for a PIN number change, or ordered new checks or check cards on any of your existing accounts.
2. Place a fraud alert on your credit reports, and review your credit reports regularly
Fraud alerts can help prevent an identity thief from opening any more accounts in your name. Contact any of the three consumer credit reporting bureaus below to place a fraud alert on your credit report. When you place an alert notification with one credit bureau, that bureau will forward the alert request to the other nationwide consumer reporting agencies, which must include the alert in their file and future reports.
Equifax: 1-800-525-6285; www.equifax.com; P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374-0241
Experian: 1-888-EXPERIAN (397-3742); www.experian.com; P.O. Box 9532, Allen, TX 75013
TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289; www.transunion.com; Fraud Victim Assistance Division P.O. Box 6790, Fullerton, CA 92834-6790
In addition to placing the fraud alert in your file, you're also entitled to order one free copy of your credit report from each of the three credit bureaus. Once you get your credit reports, review them carefully. Look for inquiries from companies you haven't contacted, accounts you didn't open, and debts on your accounts that you can't explain. If you find fraudulent or inaccurate information, get it removed immediately. Click here for more information on how to correct fraudulent information in credit reports.
Continue to check your credit reports periodically, especially for the first year after you discover the identity theft or fraud, to make sure no new fraudulent activity has occurred.
3. Close the accounts that you know, or believe, have been tampered with or opened fraudulently.
Call the financial institution and speak with someone in the security or fraud department. Follow up in writing, and include copies (NOT originals) of supporting documents. It's important to notify credit card companies and banks in writing. Send your letters by certified mail, return receipt requested, so you can document what the company received and when. Keep a file of your correspondence and enclosures.
When you open new accounts, use new Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) and passwords. Avoid using easily identifiable information like your mother's maiden name, your birth date, the last four digits of your Social Security number, your phone number, or a series of consecutive numbers.
If the identity thief has made charges or debits on your accounts, or has fraudulently opened accounts, ask the company for the appropriate forms to dispute those transactions:
For charges and debits on existing accounts, ask the representative to send you the company's fraud dispute forms. If the company doesn't have special forms, use this sample letter to dispute the fraudulent charges or debits. In either case, write to the company at the address given for "billing inquiries," NOT the address for sending your payments.
For new unauthorized accounts, you can either file a dispute directly with the company or file a report with the police and provide a copy of the report, which is referred to as an “Identity Theft Report,” to the company (see below).
Filing a report with the police and providing the company with a copy will give you greater protection. For example, if the company has already reported these unauthorized accounts or debts on your credit report, an Identity Theft Report will require them to stop reporting that fraudulent information. This cover letter can be sent along with the Identity Theft Report to the company.
Once you have resolved your identity theft dispute with the company, ask for a letter from the company stating that the disputed account has been closed and that the fraudulent debts have been discharged. This letter is your best proof if errors relating to this account reappear on your credit report.
4. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
You can file a complaint with the FTC online at https://identitytheft.gov/. You can also call the FTC's Identity Theft Hotline, toll-free: 1-877-ID-THEFT (438-4338); TTY: 1-866-653-4261; or write Identity Theft Clearinghouse, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580. Be sure to call the Hotline to update your complaint if you have any additional information or problems.
By sharing your identity theft complaint with the FTC, you will provide important information that can help law enforcement officials across the nation track down and stop identity thieves. The FTC can refer victims' complaints to other government agencies and companies for further action.
5. File a report with your local police or the police in the community where the identity theft took place.
Call your local police department and tell them that you want to file an Identity Theft Report. This Identity Theft Report can be used to (1) permanently block fraudulent information from appearing on your credit report; (2) ensure that debts do not reappear on your credit report; (3) prevent a company from continuing to collect debts that result from identity theft; and (4) place an extended fraud alert on your credit report.
If the police are reluctant to take your report, ask to file a Miscellaneous Incident Report, or try another jurisdiction, like your state police. You also can check with your state Attorney General's office to find out whether state law requires the police to take reports for identity theft. Check the Blue Pages of your telephone directory for the phone number or check www.naag.org for a list of state Attorneys General.
When you go to your local police department to file your report, bring a printed copy of your FTC ID Theft Complaint form, and your supporting documentation. Click here for more information on the Identity Theft Report and why it is so important to victims.