It seems that we have had many customers recently who have lost or stolen
credit cards. So, when I received this email from a good friend I thought
I would share it with you. Following is some information that will help if
this happens to you.
- 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.
- Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Also carry a photocopy of your passport
when traveling 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.
Damage Control - What if you have your wallet/purse lost or stolen...
- 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.
- 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 :
- Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place
a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. 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.
Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact if your wallet, etc.,
has been stolen:
- Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
- Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
- Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
- Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
Don't keep those numbers in your wallet. ;-)
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