Contact 6: Identity theft victim shares tips to protect oneself

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- FOX6's Contact 6 has tips that could help keep information safe, and keep you from losing thousands to an identity thief!

Surveillance photos helped postal inspectors link Andrew Myers -- a former financial advisor to more than 57 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," U.S. Postal Inspectors Douglas Biel said.

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

"He was trying to live the high life. 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," Biel said.

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," Cohen said.

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

"They could have run up bills. We would have no clue that someone was out spending in our name," Cohen said.

Cohen has a pointed message for all consumers: "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 ever bank statement carefully.

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