Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday.
1. Credit Cards signing
Do not sign the back of your credit cards.
Instead, write: 'PHOTO ID REQUIRED'
2. Checks writing
When writing checks to pay for your credit card accounts,
DO NOT put the complete account number on the 'For' line.
Instead, just put the last 4 numbers:
- credit card company knows the rest of the number,
- but anyone, who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels, won't have access to it.
3. Checks printing
If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address.
If you don't have a PO Box, use your work address.
Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone.
This way a thief will not be able to trace you easily.
Never have your SS# printed on your checks!
(DUH!) You can add it, if it's necessary.But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.
4. Copy everything in your wallet
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.
5. Carry a photocopy of your passport, when travel abroad.
Give the copy to your relatives in the US.
Leave the passport in the hotel locker.
Identity-Card-Wallet Loss/Theft: immediate actions
1. Cancel all your stolen 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 copies where you can find them easily.
2. File a police report immediately
in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc. were stolen.
This proves to credit providers that you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
3. Call 3 national credit reporting organizations & Social Security fraud line immediately
to place an initial fraud alert on your name.
The initial alert means any company, which checks your credit, knows your information was stolen,
and they have to contact you by phone to authorize any new credit for 90 days.
If your ID theft is repeated, place an extended (7 years) alert.
4. Here are the numbers you need to contact about your lost/stolen Identity-Card-Wallet:
- Equifax: 800-525-6285
- Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742
- Trans Union : 800-680 7289
- Social Security Administration (fraud line): 800-269-0271
Identity-Card-Wallet Loss/Theft: cautionary actions
1. Request & check your 3 Credit Reports & Social Security Income Report
for any false / unfamiliar / unusual:
- your alias names,
- past residence addresses,
- past & current work places,
- credit lines, banking accounts, income sources
- companies, which requested your credit check, without your pre-approval