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some useful info


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A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his

> company. I pass it along, for your information.


The next time you order checks, have only your first initial and

last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook they will not know if

you sign your checks with just your initial or your first name but your bank

will know how you sign your checks.


> 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 it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone

can get it. Same goes for your drivers license number. If it's just your

checkbook that is stolen, then they won't have access to that. The less

information that they can obtain about you the better.


> 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, etc. Unfortunately I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my

wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensiv 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. 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 easily.


> File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was

stolen, this proves to credit providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward

an investigation (if there ever is one).


> But here's what is perhaps most important (I never even thought to

do this): Call the three 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. ince 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 in their tracks.






> The numbers are:



> 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

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