Attorney's Advice in Event of Lost Financial Identity Data
Attorney's Advice in Event of Lost Financial Identity Data
Wed Mar 9, 2005 15:42
64.140.158.63

 

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Attorney's Advice in Event of Lost Financial Identity Data
Date: Wed, 09 Mar 2005 09:11:10 -0700
From: spiker spiker@spiker.biz

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.(DUH!) You can add it if it is 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
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 on-line, and more. But 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 this.)

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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