Protecting Yourself Against Fraud

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by Adam's Apple, Nov 4, 2005.

  1. Adam's Apple

    Adam's Apple Senior Member

    Apr 25, 2004
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    Received in an e-mail. No url and I can't vouch for it, but sounds like very good advice to me.
    A corporate attorney sent the following advice to the employees in his company.

    1. The next time you order checks, have only the initial of your first name and your last name printed on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initial or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

    2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “PHOTO ID REQUIRED”.

    3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the “For” line. Instead write just 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.

    4. Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone number. If you have a post office box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO box, use your work address. NEVER have your Social Security number printed on your checks.

    5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also keep a photocopy of your passport in a safe place.

    Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thief or thieves 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. Here’s some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you.

    1. Cancel your credit cards immediately. Keep toll-free numbers and your card numbers where you will know where to find them.

    2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc. were stolen.

    3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. This will prevent applications for credit being made in your name. Any company checking your credit then knows that your information was stolen and that they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit. Here are the numbers you always need to contact if your wallet, etc. has been stolen:

    1. Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
    2. Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
    3. Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
    4. Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

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