Free Attorney's Advice
By Jerry Corbran
We've all received email listings loaded with advice. Sometimes we pay attention and often we don't. In this case, you may appreciate a little free advice. Read, heed and perhaps clips this for your files in case you need to refer to it someday.
1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, write PHOTO ID REQUIRED.
2. When you are writing checks to pay your credit card accounts, rather than writing the complete account number on the 'For' line, just use 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 your credit card account number.
3. Put your work phone number on your checks instead of your home phone, if your employer will allow you. If you have a P.O. box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a P.O. box, consider using your work address. Never have your Social Security number printed on your checks.
4. Photocopy your driver license and credit cards, both sides, and place in a safe location. In the event of loss or theft, you will know what you had in your wallet, as well as all the account numbers and toll-free phone numbers to call and cancel.
5. Also make a photocopies of your passport, and when you travel pack one copy in your luggage and keep another copy with a trusted person at home.
6. If you're credit cards are stolen, file a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards were stolen. This can provide evidence to credit providers that you were diligent, and may help in an investigation if there is one.
7. Call the three 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; they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit requests. Those numbers are: Equifax 1 (800) 525-6285 or online at www.alerts.equifax.com, Experian (formerly TRW) 1 (888) 397-3742 or online at www.experian.com/fraud, TransUnion 1 (800) 680-7289, and Social Security Administration 1 (800) 772-1213.