Identity Theft & Fraud

At Koehler Financial Services, Inc., safeguarding your personal information is a top priority. It is important for us to inform our clients and other individuals about protecting themselves from identity theft and other types of fraud.

What You Should Know

Safeguarding your personal and financial information is critical. Every client and internet user needs to be aware of identity theft and fraud.  You need to learn to protect yourself and be on the lookout for common scams.

Popular Scams Although they may be difficult to identify, you may receive hoax e-mails (e.g.: "phishing" e-mails) that look authentic and appear to have been sent by a company you recognize.  These e-mails ask you to provide or confirm your sensitive personal information by clicking on links. To entice you, they often claim an urgent or threatening condition concerning your account, or offer you a prize. 

Do not reply or click on any links in the e-mail or provide any personal information.

For additional information on phishing, and a summary of other institutions that have been affected by this type of scam, access the Anti-Phishing Working Group's website at

Another type of fraud is when someone poses, via telephone or otherwise, as representative from a known company, which you may have a relationship with, and attempts to obtain or verify personal information. 

Koehler Financial Services, Inc. and other financial services companies will not solicit this type of information in this manner.

Protecting Yourself

You can help prevent common types of fraud if you know what to look for.  Koehler Financial Services, Inc. has gathered information to assist our clients in becoming more knowledgeable about threats.

Steps you should consider taking, include:

  • Be cautious of unexpected e-mail links to online forms or telephone calls that ask you to submit or provide your sensitive personal information.

  • Check your account statements regularly and be alert to any unrecognized transactions.

  • Be aware of any missed or untimely delivery of statements or other expected correspondence.

Additional Tips

  • Shred or tear up any papers or correspondence containing your personal information before you throw it away. Also be sure to shred expired credit/debit cards and any pre-approved or promotional card applications that you may receive in the mail.

  • Regularly check your credit reports.

  • Make a list of your credit card numbers, driver's license number, etc. and the telephone numbers to call if they are lost or stolen. Be sure to maintain the list in a safe place within your home or in a safe deposit box.

  • Do not request that highly sensitive personal information, such as Social Security number, be printed on checks or other documents.

  • Remember to discuss with your children and family members the risks of providing personal information over the Internet or the telephone.

  • Remember, when creating a password or PIN, choose passwords that are easy to remember, but hard for others to guess. Do not use names (i.e., your name, your spouse, a child's, nor a pet's name), birth dates, the last four digits of your Social Security number or other data that can be associated with you. Additionally, memorize your passwords, and don't record them on anything in your wallet.

  • Be aware of people around you when using Automated Teller Machines or making telephone calls. Do not share your password/PIN with anyone. If it is you feel your password or PIN have been compromised, change it immediately.

  • If someone calls about a potential attempt at credit card theft, first listen carefully.  If they ask you for very specific information like credit card numbers, hang up and call the phone number on the back of your credit card.

Reporting an Incident

If you suspect identity theft or fraud, you need to take immediate action to minimize damage.

Contact Koehler Financial Services, Inc. immediately at 1-269-429-0650.

If you believe you have received a hoax e-mail (phishing e-mail) that appears to be from Koehler Financial Services, Inc., please attach it to a new e-mail message with “FRAUD” in the subject header and send to


  • Contact the fraud department of any one of the three major credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your credit file.

  • Notify any other financial institution(s) if you suspect you are a victim of identity theft.

  • File a police report where the theft occurred. Be sure to get the report number and a copy of the report in case you need to provide proof of the crime later.

  • Report stolen checks and stop payment on them immediately.

  • Close all credit accounts that have been fraudulently accessed or opened, and ask that old accounts be processed as "account closed at consumer's request."

  • Notify your state's Department of Motor Vehicles or equivalent organization outside of the U.S. if your driver's license number has been lost or stolen. Put a fraud alert on your license and request a new license number.


For Koehler Financial Services, Inc. Clients
If you have any questions or concerns about your Koehler Financial Services, Inc. accounts please contact us or speak directly to your Financial Advisor. If you are a client you can call Koehler Financial Services, Inc.

Credit BureausEquifax
phoneFraud Line: 1-800-525-6285 

Experian (formerly TRW)
phoneFraud Line: 1-888-397-3742

Trans Union
phoneFraud Line: 1-800-680-7289

INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCES - PLEASE NOTE: Equifax, Experian and Trans Union may maintain local credit reporting / fraud prevention operations in countries outside of the U.S. For further information, please consult their respective Web sites noted above.

Other Resources
Anti-Phishing Working Group

OnGuard Online

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SEC Urges Investors to Protect Their Online Brokerage Accounts from Identity Thieves

"Online Brokerage Accounts: What You Can Do to Safeguard Your Money and Your Personal Information"

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Federal Trade Commission
Identity Theft Home Page

phoneCall in the U.S. 1-877- IDTHEFT (438-4338)

“Id Theft: When Bad Things Happen to Your Good Name”:

“How Not to Get Hooked by a ‘Phishing Scam’“:

Home Office Identity Fraud Steering Committee (UK)
Web site developed through a collaborative effort between financial bodies, the government and the police to combat the threat of identity theft in the UK.

Securities Industry Association, 2003
"Identity Theft: How to Avoid Theft & What to Do If It Happens to You."

National Association of Securities Dealers
"Phishing" and Other Online Identity Theft Scams

Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS)

Opt Out of pre-approved offers of credit and marketing lists              (888) 567-8688

To remove your name from mail and phone lists:

Direct Marketing Association

Mail Preference Service

PO Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735

Telephone Preference Service:

PO Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735


Personal Check Fraud Help  
Check Rite  (800) 766-2748
CrossCheck (800) 843-0760
Chexsystems (800) 428-9623
Equifax  (800) 685-1111
International Check Services    (800) 526-5380
SCAN (800) 262-7771
Telecheck (800) 710-9898
Government Resources  
Federal Government Info. Cent (800) 688-9889
Federal Trade Commission (877) 438-4338
Social Security Administratio  
Fraud Investigations (800) 269-0271
Earnings and Benefits Stmt (800) 772-1213
Laws (Federal & State)
Federal Identity Theft and Assumption Deterrence Act
Public Law 105-318, 112 Stat.3007 (Oct. 30, 1998)
Internet Information
Federal Trade Commission
Law Enforcement  
Berrien County Sheriff Department (269) 983-7141
Michigan State Police (269) 465-3111
FBI    (313) 965-2323