Not A Joke!! If you dislike attorneys..... You will love them
for these tips.

Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to
refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! A
corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his

1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put

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

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 first hand 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:

5. 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

6. 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.)

7. 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 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

Now, 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):


We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just
about everything.

If you are willing to pass this information along, it could
really help someone that you care about.

R. Antt

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