Identity Theft------------------some rules to keep us safe.

United States
March 18, 2007 11:54pm CST
Hope this helps some people here. I know that there are plenty here that know this but if there is just one person this helps I will be happy. ATTORNEY'S ADVICE---VERY GOOD!!!! This is very good information Please make copies of it and share with others. ATTORNEY'S ADVICE-----NO CHARGE 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 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, 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 inst ead 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 your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also c arry 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 th e 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 thieves 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 d o 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 & lt; /SPAN We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.
2 people like this
6 responses
@alexsis (2149)
• United States
19 Mar 07
Thanks so much for the advice, this is information that we all need. I'm going to share this with my friends and family.
2 people like this
• United States
19 Mar 07
That is why I posted this. It is good information and I want it to go out to as many people as possible. Sharing with family and friends is excellent. That will help them from having to go through the heartache of muddling through someone taking their identity. It can cost a lot of money to get it straightened out.
• United States
19 Mar 07
Yes I got this in an email about two weeks ago. A lot of great advice and hopefully your post will be seen by many people and a lesson will be learned
2 people like this
• United States
19 Mar 07
Yes, this is what I thought also. It was important enough that I thought I would pass it along here. That way people would have the tools to keep this from happening to them.
• United States
19 Mar 07
Thank you, that is excellent information.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Mar 07
I was hoping it would help some people. It pays to know what to do if something wrong is done against yourself. Better yet to know how to prevent it. My purpose in posting this was to help people out.
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
19 Mar 07
Wow this is some wonderful advice, thank you thank you thank you for sharing it. I had my checks stolen one time, it was a Saturday afternoon and I was franick but it just happened I dated a man who's sister worked at my bank. I told him and he called his sister, she called the bank manager, and they flagged all my stolen checks right then. That way if someone tried to write on one of those checks bells and whistles would go off throughout the system and they wouldn't pay the check.
• United States
20 Mar 07
I got this and I thought that people could use this advise. It will help keep from people stealing your identity. In this day and age we have to know how to safe guard ourselves from things like this.
@gberlin (3836)
19 Mar 07
That is excellent advice! Thanks for the information!
• United States
19 Mar 07
Your welcome. My whole aim in this discussion was to let as many people as possible some rules from a lawyer to protect oneself from Identity Theft. It would be a horrible thing to go through so to protect oneself is of vital importance.
@winterose (39918)
• Canada
19 Mar 07
some good stuff here, I am in canada though, I don't know if you are told to do it in other parts of the world, but they tell us to put our hand over the atm machine whenever we are keying in numbers, just in case there is a hidden camera somewhere.
1 person likes this
• United States
19 Mar 07
That also is a good idea. You can not be to careful.