Tips to Prevent Identity Theft
The next time you order checks, only use your first initial (instead
of your first name) and last name on them. If someone takes your
checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with just
your initials or your first and last names. Your bank will know
how you sign your checks.
Put your work phone number instead of your home phone number
on your checks. Or, don't put a phone number at all on your checks.
If you have a P.O. Box, use that instead of your home address.
If you don't have a P.O. Box, use your work address. NEVER put
your Social Security Number on your checks.
Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy
both sides of your license, credit cards, 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.
If your credit card is stolen:
1. Call and have it cancelled immediately. Make sure you keep
the toll-free numbers handy so you know whom to call. File a police
report immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this
proves to credit providers you were diligent and is a first step
towards an investigation.
2. Most important of all is to call the three national credit-reporting
organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name
and Social Security number. 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. The phone numbers
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
Identity theft is an increasingly popular crime and with the
help of these useful tips, you can prevent from becoming a victim.