MountainWings A MountainWings Moment
#9306 Wings Over The Mountains of Life
NO CHARGE ATTORNEY'S ADVICE
A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in
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 number 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 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 photocopies safe.
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 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 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:
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 (Equifax,
Experian, TransUnion) 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, told 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.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
2.) Equifax: P.O. Box 740241, Atlanta, GA 30374 1-800-685-1111
3.) Experian (formerly TRW): P.O. Box 2002, Allen, TX 75013
4.) Trans Union: P.O. Box 1000, Chester, PA 19022 1-800-888-4213
from The Mountain: Whether an attorney actually sent this is
unknown. It's excellent advice in a world full of thievery from
the streets to the suites. You are far more likely to lose your
life savings through suite crime than street crime.
"Thou shalt not steal" is broken as much the other nine.
Be careful, be astute, be proactive.
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