Fighting Stolen Credit Cards, ID cards, etc.
1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put
'PHOTO ID REQUIRED.'
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
won't have access to it.
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. 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.
5. Carry a photocopy of your passport when you travel either here or abroad.
6. 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.
7. 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
toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
Here's what is perhaps most important of all:
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.
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.
Here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it has been
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):