Safeguarding Your Identity

Take Steps Now to Prevent Identity Theft

At Raymond James, ensuring your privacy is a top priority. We devote extensive technological and human resources to protecting the information you entrust to us. But we want our clients and their families to be able to protect themselves, too. That’s why we’re working to educate consumers about guarding their valuable personal and financial information against fraudulent use. It’s simply part of our commitment to helping individuals and families be financially secure and independent, both now and in the future.

The More You Know About Identity Theft, the Better You Can Protect Yourself.
By definition, identity theft is the use, or attempted use, of an account or identifying information without the owner’s permission. Normally, it involves stealing an individual’s personal information and using it illegally for financial gain or other fraudulent purposes.

How Big is the Problem?

Statistics About Identity Theft and Fraud

Almost anyone can be a target of identity theft. This year alone, approximately 9 million US adults—or 4% of the U.S. population—will be victims of identity theft and identity fraud (the illegal use of stolen information).

The Better Business Bureau recently sponsored a study of identity fraud in the U.S. The study revealed that:

How does identity theft work?

Identity thieves traffic in personal information including:

Your personal information can be stolen in a variety of ways.
Tactics range from simply snatching your wallet or purse to stealing documents from your trash or watching you enter numbers at an ATM or checkout counter. Another strategy is to contact you by phone, misrepresent who’s calling, and get you to give out personal information.

More sophisticated and often large-scale methods involve:

Once thieves have obtained your personal information, they can use it to:

General Precautions

Do:

Don’t:

Important note: Children and teenagers can be targets of identity thieves, too. In fact, they make particularly attractive victims because their non-existent credit records are completely unblemished. In addition, it may take months or even years for the theft of a young person’s identity to be discovered. So it’s essential for parents to:

For more information, see Is Your Teen’s Identity Protected?.

Account Management Precautions

Computer Precautions

What measures does Raymond James take to protect my information?

At Raymond James, information security is a top priority. We recognize the trust you place in us when you disclose personal information. Ensuring the security of that information is at the core of our business.

More than 750 of our professional associates work exclusively in security management. From technological safeguards to employee policies and operating procedures, we maintain constant vigilance where your privacy is concerned.

Physical Security

At our international headquarters in St. Petersburg, Florida, security guards are on site 24 hours a day. The security desk is staffed during business hours for visitor check-in and employees are required to wear identification badges when on the premises. All high-traffic areas, restricted-access areas and building exteriors are under video surveillance.

Technological Security

Our technological systems are monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for signs of tampering or unauthorized activity. We employ the latest firewall and anti-virus technology as well as specialized programs to prevent and detect intrusion. We also maintain strict controls to limit employee access to the systems.

Our information technology professionals are constantly researching and developing enhancements to keep us at the vanguard of data security. A team of independent auditors reviews our technological systems quarterly, biannually and annually.

Employee Training

Our employee policies place major emphasis on preserving confidentiality. Newly hired associates receive comprehensive information about our privacy policies and procedures in the employee handbook, as well as initial training in security awareness. Then, on a regular basis, all employees must attend additional training in ethics and security. Our regulatory compliance specialists ensure that we meet the requirements of federal legislation regarding customers’ privacy.

The financial advisors affiliated with our company throughout the country also receive training at our national conferences, including a presentation by the FBI on information security.

Business Continuity

Our professional Business Continuity team focuses on preparing for potential business disruptions due to unforeseen circumstances such as natural disasters. Their goal is to ensure continuity of critical operations and preserve data security even during emergency situations. They oversee management of our remote operations center and emergency functions such as data retention, backup procedures and off-site information storage.

Industry-wide Coordination

Raymond James executives play an active role in industry-wide organizations devoted to sharing information about physical and cyber security. Thomas A. James, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer holds leadership positions in key national associations.

How will I know if someone has stolen my personal data?

Be on the lookout for signs that someone is misusing your information. The sooner you can spot the problem, the faster and less expensively you’ll be able to get your affairs back to normal.

Some of the warning signs include:

Another “red flag” is being denied credit when you know you qualify, or receiving less favorable credit than you deserve. Someone may have compromised your credit rating by making fraudulent transactions using your account information.

Also be alert to damage to your driving record by violations you didn’t commit. These can even result in revocation or suspension of your license.

In general, watch for any unusual circumstance that might suggest someone is using your accounts, driver’s license, or personal information.

What if I am a victim of identity theft?

The first step is knowing what action to take

Many public and private agencies are working together to fight identity theft. By notifying them that you have been a victim, you help them track down the offenders.

Ask one of the bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit report, which will help prevent new credit accounts from being opened without your express permission.

Keep complete, accurate records of all the steps you take in reporting identity theft.
When you notify various businesses and agencies, do so both by phone and in writing. Include a date/time log of phone calls, including the names of people with whom you speak and what they tell you. Also keep copies of any correspondence, along with the names, phone numbers and addresses of anyone you contact. This will be extremely important if you have to prepare a case to recover damages.

Other steps:

Where can I learn more about this?

You can help arm yourself against identity thieves by taking advantage of the wealth of information available. Here are just a few of the best online resources, ranging from facts and tips to specific steps in reporting identity crimes:

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