Watch out for personal thief!
Useful tips to avoid it happening to you.
- The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come
that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. (John
- Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise
as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Mat 10:16 KJV)
- If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men
liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5 KJV)
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 won't have access to it.
4. 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. Never have your SS# printed on your checks. You can add
it if its necessary. But 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. 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,
Unfortunately an attorney's 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 driving record information on-line, and more.
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 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).
But here's what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to do
3. Call the 3 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 dead in their tracks.
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, etc.,
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
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