NEW ORLEANS - With all the shady activity going on within the fund industry of late, a panel of industry experts here at the Investment Company Institute's Operations Conference warned attendees of another set of criminals: those from outside the industry trying to steal personal information to swindle shareholders.

While identity theft and identity fraud are nothing new to the financial services industry and are commonly associated with credit cards, they are not usually associated with the fund industry, despite its vulnerability. This safe reputation is something the industry has prided itself on. However, as technology has become more widespread in the fund industry, and with the advent of new regulations requiring more complete records of investors' personal information, fund executives have slowly become more aware of the potential threat of high-tech thieves.

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