I am sorry if I am not direct to the topic here, in a respect it is appropriate so we are not incompetent... here is some information I have received from a friend and a lawyer friend agreed with it. Plus some other info I have found if your ID is stollen,
I put it here so if anyone has a problem in this area a quick search of these terms will give them the info.
FRAUD ALERTS "Place a fraud alert on your credit reports and review your credit reports," is the first tip in the Federal Trade Commission's brochure "Take Charge: Fighting Back Against Identity Theft" (downloadable from www.ftc.gov).
"Not enough," said Kerry Smith, a consumer lawyer for the National Association of State Public Interest Groups. Mainly it means that for 90 days any potential creditor has to take precautions to verify your identity before opening new accounts in your name. Not only is 90 days a short time, the standards for verifying a consumer's identity are not clearly defined.
An "extended fraud alert," on the other hand, remains on your credit report for seven years. The extended alert requires creditors to contact you if anyone wants to open an account in your name.
So when reporting data theft, don't just call your bank; contact your local police precinct and file a copy with the F.T.C. (877-438-4338 ).
ATTORNEY'S ADVICE --- NO CHARGE
Please read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.
1. The next time you order checks have only your first
initial(s) (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 REQUIRED".
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. 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 cards.
Unfortunately, I, am attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month.
Within a week, the thieves 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 this.)
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):