11/26/07 I received this email and added it to my financial notes in Keep and Share.
ATTORNEY's ADVICE - NO CHARGE - Not A Joke
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 writing a check to pay on your credit card
account, 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.& nbsp; 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
4. 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:
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, if it has been stolen:
1.) Equifax: 800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742
3.) Trans Union : 800-680 7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud
We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about
If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help
someone that you care about.
MAKE A COPY OF THIS INFORMATION AND KEEP IT IN A SAFE PLACE!!