ATTORNEY'S ADVICE - NO CHARGE
Read this and make a copy for your files in case you
need to refer to it someday.
Maybe we should all take some of his advice!
A corporate attorney sent the following out to the
employees in his company.
1.. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead,
put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED."
2.. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card
accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number
on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers.
The credit card company knows the rest of the number,
and anyone who might be handling your check as it
passes through all the check processing channels won't
have access to it.
3.. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your
home phone. If you have a PO Box use that instead of
your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your
work address. Never have your SS# printed on your
You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have
It printed anyone can get it.
4.. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy
machine. Copy both sides of each license,
credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your
wallet and all of the account numbers and phone
numbers to call to cancel.
Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I
travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror
stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing
a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.
Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge,
because my wallet was stolen last month.
Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive
monthly cell phone package, applied for a VISA credit
card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway
computer, received a PIN number from DMV to change
my driving record information online, and more. But
here's some critical information to limit the damage in
case this happens to you or someone you know:
5.. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards
immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers
and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call.
Keep those where you can find them.
6.. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where
your credit cards, etc., were stolen.
This proves to credit providers you were diligent,
and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there
ever is one).
But here's what is perhaps most important of all:
(I never even thought to do this.)
7.. Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations
immediately to place a fraud alert on your name,
and also call the Social Security fraud line number.
I had never heard of doing that until advised by a
bank that called to tell me an application for credit
was made over the internet in my name.
The alert means any company that checks your credit
knows your information was stolen, and they have to
contact you by phone to authorize new credit.
By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks
after the theft, all the damage had been done.
There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the
Thieves purchases, none of which I knew about before
placing the alert.
Since then, no additional damage has been done, and
the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend
(someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped
them dead in their tracks.
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact
about your wallet, etc., if it has been stolen:
1.) Equifax: 800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742
3.) TransUnion : 800-680 - 7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line):