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ATTORNEY’s ADVICE – NO CHARGE

Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! 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 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.

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. &nb sp;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.

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 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, received a PIN nu mber 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 applicatio n 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: 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

10 Thoughts on What do you think of this email i just recieved from an old friend?
  1. Reply
    Mary Contrary
    August 2, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    *sigh* Nobody will advise you to do the sensible thing and use cash instead…

  2. Reply
    Naman
    August 2, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    hi***i think that your friend who mailed u is very alert and carefully…………….wo……………..that’s nice…u must take a lesson from him………is’nt it……but he’s quite sharp-minded and intelligent……………………….if he has wrote by himself …but if he has copied then ……..ui’ll leave it 2 u …..
    bye….

    have a nice day…………………………[email protected]@@@@@@@@@@

  3. Reply
    mr.boogerman
    August 2, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    this is very informative{ Thanks }

  4. Reply
    The Wicked Witch of the West
    August 3, 2011 at 12:15 am

    Excellent advice;I had my passport and purse stolen years ago whilst abroad;(and believe me I was street wise)I did have separate record of passport,credit card numbers etc: and I filed a report at the local police station(luckily my wobbly Spanish got me through,as there was very little English spoken there then!) but having all the details did make it SO much easier and my cards etc were all stopped befor the thief had time to use them. But a lot more useful information in that e-mail. I make photo copies of all important documents,drivers licence,log book,etc.

  5. Reply
    Momma Jo
    August 3, 2011 at 12:39 am

    This is not new. I’ve received it before, and it all sounds like very good advice.

  6. Reply
    rhumba girl
    August 3, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I’ve had my wallet stolen, and on another occasion, my credit card number. I now follow most of the advice above. It makes me feel safer. The thing that’s missing from the list is how to protect your stuff online if you do online shopping. It might be weeks, months, or even years before you discover online fraud on your information.

  7. Reply
    Diane M
    August 3, 2011 at 12:59 am

    As another who has had her wallet stolen, I can only echo that this is good advice. I follow all of it. Recently we got a letter from my husband’s employer saying that an employee in human resources had copied all of the employee social security numbers and other data so we had to place a fraud alert again. In this day and age you just cant be too careful and the local police will tell you that they can file a report but the chances of catching someone is very slim and most of the time they wont even waste the manpower to try.

  8. Reply
    June smiles
    August 3, 2011 at 1:28 am

    Excellent information. Everyone should print this twice, keep where they can be readily found and often seen.

    To the one who said, just use cash, I like that but sometimes it is way too much cash to carry with you.

  9. Reply
    PeeMee
    August 3, 2011 at 2:17 am

    Also join
    ScamBusters Editors ,

  10. Reply
    Me-She
    August 3, 2011 at 2:19 am

    Good Ideas.
    One big flaw…If the user of the stolden ID looks like you & they have your credit card & ID, then writing “PHOTO ID REQUIRED” won’t do any good. There is a BIG NETWORK/Theft RING that does nothing but matching the stolen ID’s to the person in need of that ID (usually an illegal or Felon), for purposes of fraud for employment, government benefits, & to show authorities. Some are even arrested & serve jail time with your name & SS#! The only way to ID yourself as the person who did NOT commit the crime is with your FINGERPRINTS!

    Everyone who has lost or “misplaced” their ID, or suspects foul play, should ask the Social Security Office for a PRINTOUT to see if anyone is using your SS# for purposes of employment. Some employers don’t know the hired help is using a stolden ID & #!

    http://www.ssa.gov
    In the middle column, scroll down to the last heading title (bold black letters),
    “Get Help with your Situation”, then click onto
    “More Situations”, then go to bottom of page & click onto 2nd to the last heading title,
    “Are you a victim of Identity Theft” for more info.

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