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Security steps you can all do to protect your ID.

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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:30 PM
Original message
Security steps you can all do to protect your ID.
This info was sent to all the employees where a friend of mine works. She pssed it along to me, and I thought there were some good suggestions for all of us.

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his

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 will not 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.
However, 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, cred it 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. Also carry a
photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad. We
have all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in
stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.

6. When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for keys (and they
all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in! Take them with
you and destroy them. Those little cards hav e on them all of the
information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card
numbers and expiration dates. Someone with a card reader, or
employee of the hotel, can access all that information with n o
problem whatsoever.

Unfortunately, as an attorney, I have first hand 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
and received a PIN number from DMV to change my driving record
information online. Here is 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.
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). However, here is what is perhaps most important
of all (I never even thought to do this.)

3. Call the three 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 w as adv ised 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 t he
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 and contents being stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1- 888-397-3742
3.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
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Ediacara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Two things
1) You absolutely MUST sign the reverse of your credit card. It is perfectly valid with "check photo ID" in addition to being signed, but it is not valid without a signature. Any cashier accepting your card without a signature is in violation of the agreement the vendor has with the credit card issuer and can get in serious doo-doo. Don't believe me? Look at the back of the card where it will invariably say "Not valid unless signed" or some variant thereof.

2) Don't pre-print a phone number on your checks at all. It's not necessary and a hold over from the day of pre-computerized banking. If a cashier insists, or the law requires (if it's a large dollar amount), you can tell them the number and it can be hand printed on the required paperwork.
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napi21 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. The one thing I never knew was that your motel keycard had
your info on it! I don't travel that much anymore, but that's nice to know.
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catchnrelease Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. Interesting
Edited on Mon Oct-23-06 11:06 PM by catchnrelease
They might not be valid without a signature, but I have not signed any of my cards in years, and instead have "see ID" written in the strip. It's never once been questioned or refused. Have had vendors comment that they do the same thing. Half of the time the vendor doesn't even turn the card over, which is pretty frightening in itself.

Edited to add: After reading #6 I was pretty spooked, as we have just returned from a few days vacation, and stayed in several motels. Usually we turn in the cards, and occasionally take one by accident. So when I told my SO, he called a friend that is a corporate exec for company that owns several nation-wide chains, and asked if this was true. He said that it's an urban myth, that the only thing that is "imprinted" on the room cards is your name, room number and expiration date when the card will no longer work. So I'm relieved about that, but still think all the rest of the suggestions are really good ones.
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durrrty libby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:01 PM
Response to Original message
2. Thank You
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