[bct] I.D. theft protection

  • From: "beth" <fb-oe@xxxxxxx>
  • To: "beth" <fb-oe@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2006 14:30:13 -0500

> *
> A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his
> company.*
> *
> 1.  The next time you order checks have only *
> *your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them.  If
> someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks
> with just your initials 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
> *
> 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, 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 will not have access to it.*
> *
> 4.  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 checks, (DUH!).  You can add it if it is necessary.  However, if
> you have it printed, anyone can get it.*
> *
> 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
> yo **ur** wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to
> call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.  Also carry a
> photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad.  We
> have all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in
> stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.*
> *
> 6.  When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for! keys (and they
> all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in.  Take them with you
> and destroy them.  Those little cards have on them all of the
> information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card
> numbers and expiration dates.  Someone with a card reader, or employee
> of the hotel, can access all that information with no problem whatsoever.*
> *
> Unfortunately, as an attorney, I have first hand 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 and received a PIN
> number from DMV to change my driving record information online.  Here is
> some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to
> you or someone you know:*
> *
> 1.  We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. 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.*
> *
> 2.  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).  However, here is what is perhaps most important of
> all (I never even thought to do this.)*
> *
> 3.  Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately
> to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security 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
> and contents being stolen:*
> *
> 1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
> 2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
> 3.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
> 4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271*

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