View Full Version : Guarding Yourself Against Identity Theft

03-14-2006, 08:27 AM
The thread yesterday about that guy and the credit card application that he tore up and then taped back together reminded me of this. Here is some good info for protecting yourself against identity theft.

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. 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 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): 1-800-269-0271

Here is an excellent page for more information in case your information is stolen: http://www.chevronfcu.org/ASP/Products/product_2_2.asp

03-14-2006, 08:28 AM
My strategy is be in so much debt and have such bad credit that nobody would want my identity

03-14-2006, 08:40 AM
2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “PHOTO ID REQUIRED”.

Great except that places like the post office won't take them unless there is a signature on the back....first hand experience and VERY FRUSTRATING tying to explain why I won't sign it

03-14-2006, 09:14 AM
great info, thanks

03-14-2006, 09:18 AM
My strategy is be in so much debt and have such bad credit that nobody would want my identity

ROFL :clap:

I too have decided on that method!!! What are they gonna do, staple some sh!t to my credit report!!!

03-14-2006, 09:34 AM
This is from someone in my place of employment.

"Some companies (Discover among them) WILL NOT HONOR your claim of theft if they recover the card and find it unsigned. In fact, the statement that you must sign the card is found in the legal documents which form the card agreement.”

“Instead, it is recommended that you sign the card and use a fine point indelible ink pen to write above the signature in bold print: ‘Require Photo ID’”

Chief Pote
03-14-2006, 11:37 AM
We have printed" ask for ID" on the back of ours for some time, with no problems.

Good post Lzen.