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Useful advice

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Subject: An Attorney's Advice
Just got this in an email, there are some good ideas here for us to protect ourselves, too bad we have to.

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his

* The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of
first name) and last name put on them.

* If someone takes your check book 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.

* 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.

* Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If
you have a PO Box use that instead of your home o Never have your SS#
printed on your checks (DUH!) you can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

* 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. 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:

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 easily.

* File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was
stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first

step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

But here's what is perhaps most important: (I never even thought to
do this).

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 in their tracks.

The numbers are:

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.

Pass this information along. It could really help someone you care about.
post #2 of 5
Wow... I never thought to just put the last four digits of my credit card number on checks. Or just my first inital/last name. Very useful tips, thanks Brenda!
post #3 of 5
Great tips! I have a lot of changes to make!
post #4 of 5
Thanks for sharing those!

I know when I moved out on my own, my mom recommended that I get my name listed in the phonebook with my first initial and last name, rather than first and last, so no one knew it was a number registered to a woman. Her theory was that some people look for phone numbers registered to women and assume that they live alone, and then prey upon them. She may have been paranoid, but it still seems like a good idea.
post #5 of 5
Bumping this up.this is good info!
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