Transcript: Is Your Financial Information Secure?

This is a partial transcript from "Your World with Neil Cavuto," February 3, 2006, that was edited for clarity.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Well, what you don't know about all sorts of theft, including I.D. theft, could ruin your life, too. If my next guest is right, we are all at risk in ways none of us can possibly imagine.

Joining us now is Jim Van Dyke. Jim is the founder of Javelin Strategy & Research.

And, first off, Jim, what you are saying, it is not the obvious victims. It is not just some poor, elderly folks, huh?


Neil, this has got to be the most misunderstood crime in America. People don't understand what they can do to protect themselves. And, therefore, they are at greater risk all the time.

CAVUTO: OK, let's go through this now.

First, who is stealing your I.D.? Who is?

VAN DYKE: Well, more often than not, based on victims who know who the identity of the perpetrator was, it is people close to you, people that have your information.

And it makes sense, because, in order to impersonate somebody, you have to do a convincing job of proving to someone that you are that person.


Second off, who is at the greatest risk of getting ripped off?

VAN DYKE: Well, it's people that are leaving information all over the place, and especially people that transact a lot. So, it's Generation X.

And people often think the elderly age group represents the highest risk. And it is not. It is people who in the 25-to-34-year-old category.

CAVUTO: But that is the group you think is pretty savvy about this stuff, huh?

VAN DYKE: Yes. You would think so, you know, but it's...

CAVUTO: Where do they make their biggest mistake?

VAN DYKE: Well, I think a couple of things.

I mean, one is, you know, whenever you are exchanging personal information, private information, like financial records, credit cards, financial statements, that kind of thing, whenever those records are going back and forth, there is risk involved.

CAVUTO: And we are going to show that as you're speaking, where is your I.D. stolen from. And it is a lot of those obvious places.

VAN DYKE: It is. It is.

And, so, people that transact the most are probably people that have the greatest risk. But it's something everybody should be concerned about. This is a $56 billion crime.

CAVUTO: Tell me some easy things we can do to avoid being victims.

VAN DYKE: Well, you know, it's all about prevention and detection.

And, so, for prevention, just take all those pieces of information that are floating around all over the place, financial statements...

CAVUTO: Physically floating around?

VAN DYKE: Physically, more than anything else.

CAVUTO: What if I'm paying bills on the Internet that are not...

VAN DYKE: Well, you know, most people are concerned when they're on the Internet. And they should be, because, of course, there is risk there.

So, most people are keeping virus protection and that kind of thing, and not responding to e-mails that ask for your private information and click here for a special offer. That is smart thinking to protect yourself that way.

But you need to apply that same thinking to every other way you exchange confidential information. So, the mail, for example, stuff laying around your desktop, at work. If you have got a relative you don't trust or somebody else that comes through your house doing some work, lock that information up.


All right, very good words of advice, Jim Van Dyke, Javelin Strategy & Research.

Not the obvious victims you think.

Thank you, Jim. Good news to know.

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