View Full Version : OT Important information about personal security

03-20-2004, 08:37 PM
I know this is not computer related but it is important personal security information that needs sharing. I did not know of another area to post it in, so I guess the powers that be will wipe it if they need to...

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. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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 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 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. 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.

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):