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Advice On How To Avoid Identity Theft
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Posted on 04/18/2009 1:37:50 PM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland

ATTORNEY's ADVICE - NO CHARGE

Not A Joke!! If you dislike attorneys..... You will love them for these tips.

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. 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 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: 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

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

If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: crime; identitytheft; idtheft; stolen
I thought this info could help someone, so I'm passing it along.
1 posted on 04/18/2009 1:37:50 PM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

This is excellent advice. I’m going to send this to everyone in my address book. Thank you.


2 posted on 04/18/2009 1:43:16 PM PDT by FarRightFanatic (It wasn't an election. It was a socialist coup.)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland; TigersEye; yorkie; 50mm

Thanks & good advice!


3 posted on 04/18/2009 1:43:36 PM PDT by pandoraou812 ( Don't play leap frog with a unicorn..............^.............)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

Here is an important tip: If anyone asks you to write your SSN or your credit card number on a check, tell them NO!

If they insist, then you do not want to give them personal checks.


4 posted on 04/18/2009 1:49:00 PM PDT by jimtorr
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To: jimtorr

Does anyone use checks anymore for anything but paying utility bills? Geez even doctors take plastic for co-pays.


5 posted on 04/18/2009 1:58:10 PM PDT by TruthHound ("He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." --Leonardo da Vinci)
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To: pandoraou812; alice_in_bubbaland

That is great advice. Thanks for posting it, aib, and thanks for the ping, pandy.


6 posted on 04/18/2009 2:08:49 PM PDT by TigersEye (Cloward-Piven Strategy)
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To: TruthHound

I even pay my utility bills online. :)


7 posted on 04/18/2009 2:09:38 PM PDT by LiberConservative (0bama is to the presidency what Kenny G is to jazz.)
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To: TruthHound
Does anyone use checks anymore for anything but paying utility bills?

Utility bills are often quite easy to pay by means other than writing a check. The water utility I work at has three different methods, one of which is cost-free where they automatically debit the amount from your bank account.

8 posted on 04/18/2009 2:12:17 PM PDT by hunter112 (SHRUG - Stop Hussein's Radical Utopian Gameplan!)
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To: LiberConservative

I’m old school, I don’t pay anything online.

I did a lot of Christmas shopping online this year. In February, I got a call from Chase Visa informing me of about $1000 of “questionable” cc transactions. I had to cancel my card and have another one issued. I am now not a fan of online anything.


9 posted on 04/18/2009 2:20:42 PM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland (Markets and Marxists Don't Mix! Smile you're on Janet's Candid Camera!)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

Hunt down and kill anyone anyone that tries to take your identity. Enough dead people might make a deterent.


10 posted on 04/18/2009 2:31:38 PM PDT by CodeToad (Anyone wanting the government to take over medical care should stand in line at the post office)
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To: CodeToad

Rule number one: Don’t marry a girl with bad credit and live in her parents’ basement with a rock band.


11 posted on 04/18/2009 2:54:57 PM PDT by heye2monn
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

BM


12 posted on 04/18/2009 3:11:21 PM PDT by ScreamingFist (Annihilation - The result of underestimating your enemies. NRA)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland; pandoraou812; TigersEye

I suggest taking it a step further as I have. Go to the websites of each of the three credit agencies and place a credit freeze on your identity. It costs $5.00 each (when I did it years ago), but makes it impossible for somebody to open a new account in your name. As a bonus, all the credit card offers that stuff your mailbox every day will stop almost completely.

Thieves sometimes steal credit card offers out of your mailbox, apply and then check your mailbox for the new card when it comes. They then immediately change the account address. By the time you realize what has happened, the thief could have run up thousands of dollars in debt.


13 posted on 04/18/2009 3:30:14 PM PDT by 50mm (My respect for zero has reached zero)
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To: 50mm

Does that change your credit rating?


14 posted on 04/18/2009 4:11:25 PM PDT by TigersEye (Cloward-Piven Strategy)
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To: TigersEye

I’ve never checked. It shouldn’t.


15 posted on 04/18/2009 4:34:49 PM PDT by 50mm (My respect for zero has reached zero)
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To: TigersEye
Not in the slightest.

Cheers!

16 posted on 04/18/2009 4:38:15 PM PDT by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
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To: grey_whiskers

Thanks.


17 posted on 04/18/2009 4:38:52 PM PDT by 50mm (My respect for zero has reached zero)
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To: grey_whiskers; 50mm

Excellent! Thank you.


18 posted on 04/18/2009 4:39:38 PM PDT by TigersEye (Cloward-Piven Strategy)
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To: 21stCenturion

...


19 posted on 04/18/2009 4:45:55 PM PDT by 21stCenturion ("It's the Judges, Stupid !")
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To: 21stCenturion

ping


20 posted on 04/18/2009 8:07:16 PM PDT by Tahoe3002 (Politicians = Proof Positive that Crime does Pay.)
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To: 50mm

Good advice, thanks.


21 posted on 04/18/2009 10:47:16 PM PDT by pandoraou812 ( Don't play leap frog with a unicorn..............^.............)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland
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 would be careful with this, a lot of copiers save copied data to a network or hard drive for security reasons. They can also be hacked just like a computer to retrieve data.

22 posted on 04/18/2009 11:01:52 PM PDT by this_ol_patriot (I saw manbearpig and all I got was this lousy tagline.)
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To: TruthHound

While I want to agree, I have a doctor who doesn’t take plastic for anything. He’s pretty old-fashioned, and has semi-retired. He now only does endocrinology consulting.

I go to him for treatment of Graves Disease. Graves Disease is extreme hyper-thyroid.


23 posted on 04/19/2009 3:18:58 AM PDT by jimtorr
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