Protect Yourself From Fraud
We received the following security tips and found them so helpful we thought we’d post them for the benefit of our website visitors. This information was adapted from a corporate attorney’s advice to his company's employees.
- Name on Checks: The next time you order checks, have only your initials and last name printed on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they won’t know whether you sign your checks with your full name, but your bank will know.
- Address and Telephone: If you have a post office box, have that printed on your checks rather than your street address. Consider putting your work telephone number on rather than your home number.
Photocopy Your Cards and IDs
- Wallet: Photocopy both sides of your credit cards, driver license, etc., so you’ll have all the information you need if anything is lost or stolen. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
- Passport: If you have a passport, this is a good time to make a copy of that too, which you can carry with you when you travel domestically or abroad.
Who Ya Gonna Call?
Thieves can work quickly with a stolen wallet, ordering everything from computers to cell phones, applying for credit lines, and getting personal ID numbers (PINs) for online services. You can limit their ability to wreak havoc by taking the following timely measures:
- Cancellation Numbers: Keep credit card cancellation numbers handy so they can be called immediately.
- Police Report: File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen. This proves to credit providers that you were diligent and is a first step toward an investigation.
- Credit Reporting Organizations: Call the three U.S. consumer credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. That alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen; they have to contact you by telephone to authorize new credit.
Equifax Fraud Alert: 888.766.0008
Experian (formerly TRW) Fraud Alert: 888.397.3742
TransUnion Fraud Alert: 800.680.7289
Social Security Administration Fraud Hotline: 800.269.0271