A corporate attorney concerned with
the increase of identity theft sent the following to all the
employees of 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. 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 number on your checks instead of your
home phone. If you have a P.O. box use that instead of your home
address. If you do not have a P.O. box, use your work address.
Never print your Social Security number on your checks. You can
add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone
can get it.
4. Copy the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine.
Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will
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.
Always carry a photocopy of your passport when you travel either
here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud
that’s committed when our name, address, Social Security
number, credit cards, etc., are stolen.
You would think an attorney would know better, but I have firsthand
knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week,
the thief (thieves) 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 the Department
of Motor Vehicles to change my driving record information on-line,
Here’s 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.
But the key is having the toll-free numbers and your card numbers
handy so you know whom to call. Keep this information where you
can find it easily.
2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where
your wallet was stolen. This proves to credit providers you were
diligent, and is a first step toward an investigation.
3. Perhaps most important: Call the three national credit reporting
organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name
and Social Security number. Unless you alert them, any company
that checks your credit won’t know your information was
stolen. When you alert them, they have to call you to authorize
any new credit. Call:
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Social Security Administration fraud line: 800-269-0271
Editor’s note: 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. Save it:
it might even help you.