[Vision2020] Fwd: identity theft

Tom Trail ttrail at moscow.com
Mon Sep 4 15:39:06 PDT 2006

>Visionaries:   This e mail regarding identity theft came to me via an

attorney.  There is some excellent advice in the message.

Tom Trail

>      Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to 
>refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice! A 
>corporate Attorney sent the following out to the employees in his 
>           1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put 
>             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 
>channels 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. (DUH!) 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. 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, 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:
>             5. 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.
>             6. 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.)
>             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. 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: 800-525-6285
>            2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 888-397-3742
>            3.) Trans Union: 800-6807289
>            4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line):800-269-0271
>    If you are willing to pass this information along, it could 
>really help someone that you care about.

Dr. Tom Trail
International Trails
1375 Mt. View Rd.
Moscow, Id. 83843
Tel:  (208) 882-6077
Fax:  (208) 882-0896
e mail ttrail at moscow.com
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