In Perspectives

Personal Identity Theft

Cybersecurity can have many implications on consumers and ranking among the top is Identity Theft.  The news covers the big hacks, involving ransomware, millions in damages, and huge numbers of affected records and systems.  What isn’t talked about as much, is Personal Identity Theft.  According to the FTC Consumer Sentinel Network, there were 1.3 million reports of Identity Theft in 2020 alone.  That is an increase from 2019, where the FTC received 650,572 complaints.  It is easy to see how Identity Theft is not only an issue, but a growing concern for the average consumer.

What is identity theft?

Identity Theft is more than a stolen credit card.  Identity Theft is the use of another persons’ identity for financial gain by several means, such as withdrawing funds, taking out credit, purchasing merchandise, filing tax returns, and receiving medical care or social security benefits.  Sometimes, your information itself is sold, including social security, account numbers, address, credit cards, login information, etc.  Once your information has been exposed, it is often out there forever.

How does my identity get stolen?

There are many ways in which Identity Theft can take place, however a few common methods make up the bulk of incidents.  These could include; stealing login information to banking or other sensitive websites or services, installing ransomware on your computer, sending fake text messages, emails with malicious links, or even classic dumpster diving.  The most common techniques involve using login information or phishing emails.

How to protect yourself?

Here are some recommended steps everyone should take in protecting their identity:

  • Shred sensitive documents, credit card pre-approvals, tax documents, etc with a cross shredder.
  • Request a credit freeze with the credit bureaus to prevent credit from being ran without you temporarily releasing the freeze.
  • Set up multi-factor authentication on your email, banking, and financial websites.
  • Use a password manager to secure your passwords and help create unique, diverse, and secure passwords.
  • Don’t overshare personal information on social media.
  • Be aware of phishing emails and texts.
  • Be careful with opening links.
  • Never give away personal information over the phone or email without verifying who you are talking to.
  • Store personal information in a fireproof safe.
  • Never carry your social security card with you.

Consider signing up with an identity monitoring service.  There are many options available, which monitor your credit, tax, medical, and other identity theft risk areas.  The service should also include Identity Theft recovery services and Identity Theft insurance, in case of an incident.  These services help monitor, alert, and recover from Identity Theft.  Please remember these services are not a substitute for the protection steps listed above.

Identity Theft can have lasting effects on you and your family.  Taking the necessary steps ahead of time can help stop theft in its tracks.  If you or your family have any questions about Identity Theft or have already been affected, the FTC has great resources available at

Legacy Trust and Your Right to Financial Privacy

At Legacy Trust we have established policies and practices that respect the financial privacy of all individuals who use our trust company. We believe it is critical to comply with the laws and regulations designed to secure your financial privacy. Your relationship with us as our client is very important to us, and we want you to understand our policies and practices about handling your information.

This Policy applies to you – This Policy applies to our relationships with individual clients who inquire about or obtain products or services from us for personal, family and household purposes.

Strict security measures – We take the security of information very seriously. We have established security standards and procedures to prevent access to client information. We maintain physical, electronic and procedural safeguards to guard client information.

Limited employee access – We have established procedures to limit employee access to information to only those employees with a business reason for accessing such information. We educate our employees about the importance of confidentiality and client privacy. We take appropriate disciplinary measures to enforce employee responsibilities regarding client information.

Why we collect information – We collect information about you to:

  • accurately identify you;
  • protect and administer your records, accounts and funds;
  • help us design or improve our products and services;
  • understand your financial needs;
  • save you time when you apply for new products and services; offer you quality products and services; and comply with certain laws and regulations;

We collect information – We collect and maintain your personal information so that we can provide investment management and other services to you. The types and categories of information that we collect and maintain about you include:

  • Information we receive from you to open an account or provide investment advice or other services to you (such as your home address, social security number, telephone, financial information and investment objectives).
  • Information that we generate to service your account or from our transactions with you (such as account statements and other financial information).
  • Information on your transactions with nonaffiliated third parties.

We have established procedures so that the financial information we collect is accurate, current and complete. We are committed to work with you to promptly correct any inaccurate information.

Our selective sharing of information – In order for us to provide investment management and other services to you, we do disclose your personal information in very limited instances, which include:

  • Disclosures to nonaffiliated companies as permitted by law, including those who help us service your account (such as providing account information to brokers and custodians).
  • Other limited disclosures as permitted by law, for example, required reports to government entities.

We do not share your information with third parties for marketing purposes. We do not sell your information.

Former clients – If you end your relationship with us, we will continue to adhere to the privacy policies and practices described in this notice.


Important Information About Procedures For Opening A New Account

To help the government fight the funding of terrorism and money laundering activities, Federal law requires all financial institutions to obtain, verify and record information that identifies each person who opens an account.

What this means for you: When you open an account, we will ask for your name, address, date of birth and other information that will allow us to identify you. We may also ask to see your driver’s license or other identifying documents.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause; however, federal law prohibits us from waiving these requirements.

You are leaving the Legacy Trust website

Legacy Trust makes no representation concerning nor is it responsible for the quality, content, nature, or security of any hyperlinked site. This link is provided as a convenience and does not imply any investigation or endorsement of the site.


Do not send sensitive information over email. If you need to communicate sensitive information, please call us at 616.454.2852


The views expressed on Linkedin do not necessarily reflect the views of Legacy Trust