I-Team 10 Consumer Alert: Financial advisers alert
Posted at: 03/18/2013 6:05 PM
By: Berkeley Brean | WHEC.com
Don't share your personal information with anyone unless you know them well. And that is especially true if you're giving that person your hard earned money so that someday you can retire.
We hear it all the time, save now so you can retire later. And to get the best return, a lot of people use a financial adviser. But make sure you know who you're giving your money to.
Andrew Myers was a financial adviser. Postal inspectors used evidence of purchases to link him to more than 57 cases of identity theft.
Douglas Biel, U.S. Postal inspector, said, "He stole clients information and identity profiles from both his customers and his fellow co-workers and then performed changes of addresses and opened various bank accounts in his name."
U.S. Postal inspectors say Myers used the money to live the high-life, staying at expensive hotels, flying with girlfriends across the country on his clients' dimes. One of them was Judy Cohen.
Judy Cohen said, “Surely there is some connection because why would would someone I had no past with, why would they target me?”
Cohen's bank alerted her that someone was applying for credit cards in her name.
Cohen said, "They could have run up bills, we would have no clue that someone was out spending in our name. No one is safe. It could happen to me again. It could be happening right now."
Cohen says don't think it can't happen to you.
Cohen said, “It will. I guarantee sometime down the road, it will. As economic times get harder, people are getting more desperate."
What can you do? First, know and trust who you're investing your money with. Judy Cohen now has a credit monitoring service on all her accounts.
And she checks her monthly bank statements carefully.
The financial adviser is serving two years in prison and has to pay back $35,000 to the clients he stole from.