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Submitted by WWAY on Wed, 06/10/2009 - 3:19pm.

A struggling economy may be to blame for record high cases of identity theft. Financial planner Ross Marino has more on how to protect yourself while surfing the web. "This week's question is about identity theft. The biggest risk may be from phisherman. This type of phishing is spelled with a ph. Phishing with a ‘ph’ is the process where scam artists attempt to steal your personal information by getting you to divulge it. They will ask for your Social Security number, different account numbers, passwords, or other information. They are tricky, so you need to be careful. The phishermen usually imitate a company you already do business with. So, you may receive an email that looks exactly like the usual correspondence you receive from the company. This makes it virtually impossible to tell whether or not it's a scam. They'll get your attention by claiming there is a problem with your account, then ask for you to verify the personal information. Always check with the company before you divulge anything. I'm not aware of any financial services company that would ask you verify sensitive information through email. So if you receive one of these emails, please be careful." Tomorrow, I will talk about one of the ways you can check to see if an identity theft has occurred.

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