BeautyTech Forums

Full Version: How do I prevent identity theft?
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
This information came to me by email from a friend. I can not validate it truly came from an attorney, but every word of it makes 110% sense and I urge everyone to follow these suggestions.

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

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. 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.

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 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

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

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

In todays world (almost 2012) it is almost safer to shop online than in a traditional brick & mortor store. Tips:
1. Dont wave your card around while waiting in line, the guy behind you has a camera on his cell phone and is silently snapping away at both sides.

2. Use your cell phone to store a list of important numbers in case your cards/wallet is stolen. Keep a second copy in your desk.

3. READ your credit card statement EVERY MONTH, better to look like a idiot calling to check on a charge you forgot about or didn't recognize than to have to go through recreating your life.

4. When shopping online make sure the page you are entering your credit card information in starts with HTTPS (not just http) - the S means it is secure and encrypted.

5. NEVER EVER save passwords on your computer when logging into important sites like your banking site.

6. Use well formed passwords that include CapiTols, loweR caSe and Num8er5. For example: mickey45Mouse