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Monday, March 2, 2015

Identity Theft

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What to know to protect yourself and finances

Millions of Americans fall victim to identity theft each year—and their financial losses are in the billions. In 2012, an estimated 16.6 million Americans experienced identity theft, causing losses of $24.7 billion.1 What can you do to help reduce your chances of having your identity stolen? The steps below can help you prevent significant losses.

• Never divulge your credit card number or other personally identifying information over the Internet or telephone unless you initiate the communication.

• Reconcile your bank account monthly, and notify your bank of discrepancies immediately.

• Actively monitor your online accounts to detect suspicious activity. Report unauthorized financial transactions to your bank, credit card company, and the police as soon as you detect them.

• Review a copy of your credit report at least once each year. Notify the credit bureau in writing of any questionable entries and follow through until they are explained or removed.

• If your identity has been assumed, ask the credit bureau to print a statement to that effect in your credit report.

• If you know of anyone who receives mail from credit card companies or banks in the names of others, report it to local or federal law enforcement authorities.

• Finally, be very wary of any email or text message expressing an urgent need for you to update your personal information, activate an account, or verify your identity. Practice similar caution with email attachments and downloadable files and keep your computers protected with the latest security updates and virus protection software.

If you’d like to learn more, please contact Denis Poljak at (318) 677-5426 or find more online at www.MorganStanleyFA.com/Poljak. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, its affiliates and Morgan Stanley Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. This material was not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. Clients should consult their tax advisor for matters involving taxation and tax planning and their attorney for matters involving trust and estate planning and other legal matters. Article by Wealth Management Systems, Inc. and provided courtesy of Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.

The author(s) are not employees of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“Morgan Stanley”).

The opinions expressed by the authors are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of Morgan Stanley. The information and data in the article or publication has been obtained  from sources outside of Morgan Stanley and Morgan Stanley makes no representations or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of information or data from sources outside of Morgan Stanley. Neither the information provided nor any opinion expressed constitutes a solicitation by Morgan Stanley with respect to the purchase or sale of any security, investment, strategy or product that may be mentioned. Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor(s) engaged Forum Magazine to feature this article.

Denis Poljak may only transact business in states where he is registered or excluded or exempted from registration http://www. MorganStanleyFA.com/Poljak. Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Denis Poljak is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration.

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