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Old 09-11-2005, 05:55 PM   #1
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Identity Fraud

Thought I'd share this one. (I didn't spell check, but hope the info is helpful & accurate.)

Identity fraud helpful information...

A Dallas attorney sent this informative memo out to his employees.

ATTORNEY'S ADVICE -- NO CHARGE 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!

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 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 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:

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 yourcredit 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:

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. 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.

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

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything. But if you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about.

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Old 09-11-2005, 06:08 PM   #2
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Thankfully, this has not happened to me, but if it were, I am glad to know this info. Thanks Mish!!
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Old 09-11-2005, 06:21 PM   #3
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You're welcome Texas.

Happened to me once. Not to this extent. I was at a bar/club called "Residuals" when someone took my wallet from my purse. The only residuals they got was $40. That's all the money I had in my wallet. They dumped it in the mail with my driver's license (shortly after I made an appointment with DMV). I try to remember to take only one credit card (& my license) with me. Use to cart around every card I owned. Not any more. What a headache.
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Old 09-11-2005, 07:45 PM   #4
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excellent to know but there will all the naysayers that wont change
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Old 09-11-2005, 08:11 PM   #5
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Good info, thanks... you can read more info and suggestions on this subject here:

http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/scams/credit.htm
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Old 09-11-2005, 11:52 PM   #6
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Thanks Mish,

right on the money as usual..This is really something useful and I'm sorry to say needed by all of us now...Thanks again for thinking about us.
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