Penson sent 1099B by email

Discussion in 'Backup and Security' started by GTS, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. GTS


    This year Penson (who clears for MBTrading) sent my 1099B for futures trading as PDF attachment via regular email with the non-descript filename of "Summary2009.pdf".

    I didn't even notice it until I contacted them to ask why I hadn't received the 1099B by (postal) mail like I had every previous year and they told me it was sent by email in January.

    I was stunned that they would send something that contains my name, address and social security info in the clear like that...even more bizarre that they didn't use the existing secure message system on their site (accessed over https).

    Anyway I replied to the Penson customer service person that I was unhappy about it and never got a response. So I contacted MBTrading and they said they would ensure a new procedure is implemented.

    Anyone else ever gotten a tax document emailed like that? Seems like a pretty serious lapse in judgment for a firm like Penson.
  2. kxvid


    Penson is so cheap not to send out paper statements once a year. I don't know how much money they think they save by pulling a stunt like this. It caused me alot of aggravation trying to do my taxes this year without my paper 1099 from penson. It makes me lose all kinds of confidence if they won't even send me a real document once a year, won't even notify me if they aren't sending out paper statements this year. I was like, were is my yearly statement, did it get lost in the mail? Very unprofessional aswell to send sensitive data like that over unencrypted email. I need a penson alternative asap.
  3. cstfx


    Don't you think that if it is sent via snail mail THAT would be less secure than them emailing your pdf to YOUR email addy? While yes, the secure msg system is the better route, I would rather have the email than risk this info "getting lost in the mail".
  4. GTS


    Not at all. A single physical copy via postal mail is much less risky than sending an electronic copy in the clear.
  5. ElCubano


    when they see how much you lost this year the Hackers won't bother tapping your social security #...:p

    I got mine snail mail....mbtrading/penson
  6. GTS


    Ha Ha.

    I got my MBTrading 1099B/Div/Int statement (covering equity trades) by snail mail as always but my Penson GHCO 1099B covering futures trading only came by email.

    To respond to cstfx, here's the quickest thing I could find on the internet regarding the security of unencrypted email:
  7. A paper copy is only in transit and available for theft for a few days. The thief or his agent must be physically present somewhere between sender and receiver, intercept the mail, and either steal it outright or have the technology to open, copy and reseal the letter. Once the letter passes through a location, it's gone; no record of the contents exists. Plus, tampering with mail is a federal crime in every country that has a national post.

    On route to you, the average email bounces through a dozen servers and routers spread across 6 different organizations (sender's computer, sender's company email server, sender's ISP, ISP backbone, your ISP, your email server, your computer), any one of which could have a lazy admin who forgot to change the default password. All it takes is one hacker sitting in eastern Europe with a botnet scanner probing for a weakness, find one, then download all emails and documents with contents that match ###-##-#### and bam! you're info is in evil hands. Servers cache all kind of stuff in backup files for years. Extradition for non-violent, non-drug, white collar crime is a joke.

    Emailing sensitive information is unacceptable in every case. Shame on them.
  8. Catoosa


    I think an e-mail notice for the account holder to log onto their Penson account to download or print their tax documents would have been the proper solution.
  9. When I received mine via postal from RCG this year, the envelope it came in when wasn't even sealed.
  10. GTS


    #10     Mar 14, 2010