Subject: Theft Precautions  
> > LAWYER'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!
> >
> > 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 Social Security number
> > 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, etc.
> >
> > Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have  firsthand knowledge because my wallet
> > was stolen last month. Within a  week, the thief 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  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 which called to tell me an application for credit was  made over the
> > Internet in my name. The alert means any company who 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  thief's purchases, none of which I knew about before placing
> > the alert.  Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thief
> > 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

> >
> > 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.

>