It’s a good idea to print or copy the phone numbers at the end…or save this whole article.
This is not A Joke!! Even If you dislike attorneys, you will love these SECRET TIPS.
Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday.
- Do not sign the back of your credit cards. I WRITE ‘PHOTO ID REQUIRED.’
- 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. Copy 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 to cancel if necessary. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
My wife and I also carry a photocopy of our passports when we travel, either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed on us by stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards etc.
Unfortunately, I have had more than one client go through this when their wallet was stolen. Within a week, the thieves 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 their 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:
- 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 who 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 also call the Social Security fraud line 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 my clients were 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, which you can be alerted to before placing the alert. After that there should be no additional damage. The thieves will probably throw your wallet away and hopefully someone will turn it in. If you follow this info it should stop the thieves dead in their tracks.
Here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it 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
Consider signing up with Charles Jarrot, Century Credit Group 310 277 1300 like we did to get 24/7 monitoring; alerts of any changes to credit reports; sex offender registry monitoring; Bank Account opening request notification; lien or public record notifications; Dark Web Surveillance which applies when someone writes a negative review of you or your business on the internet.
Suggestions for future articles contact Dale Gribow at 760-837-7500 or Dale@DaleGribowLaw.com.
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