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Rip-Off Alert: Financial adviser snares clients' IDs

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 3/19/2013 5:41 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- Don't share your personal information with anyone unless you know them well. In this Rip-Off Alert, many were duped by a financial adviser who abused his position.

Surveillance pictures are taken of Andrew Myers in a grocery store with his young son.

Purchases made in these stores helped U.S. postal inspectors link the former financial adviser to nearly 60 cases of identity theft.

"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," said U.S. Postal Inspector Douglas Biel.

Myers worked for Northwestern Mutual, selling investments and insurance. But his own quest for money led to his downfall.

"He was trying to live the high life,” Biel said. “He was staying in very expensive hotels; he was flying call girls with him out to the Playboy mansion and feeding on other's people dime."

Judy Cohen didn't know Myers, but she was one of his victims.

"You just can't believe a total stranger would target you and steal your identity," she said.

Fortunately, Cohen’s bank promptly alerted her and her husband that someone was applying for charge cards in their names.

"They could have run up bills,” Cohen said. “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 has a pointed message for all consumers.

"The easiest thing to do is not stick your head in the sand,” she said. “Quit pretending that it's not going to happen to you. It will. As economic times get harder, people are getting more desperate."

Cohen says she and her husband now have credit monitoring services on all of their accounts and they check every bank statement carefully.

Myers is serving a two-year prison term and was ordered to pay back $35,000 in restitution.
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