Here are some free tips on how to prevent identity theft

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 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.  For that matter, you should not provide your social security number to anyone unless absolutely necessary.

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. In the alternative, use your iphone or other camera phone to take pictures of your wallet contents, but be sure you keep your phone locked and use the password function.  Do the same thing with your passport, keep a photo copy and a picture of it on your camera phone.
5. Avoid using a debit card altogether, and do not use ATM machines to obtain cash. When you receive your paycheck each week, deposit it in your bank and get enough cash back to cover your purchases during the week. Make your purchases with cash, or use your credit card, but be careful where you use your credit card. Typically if the store or gas station looks questionable, dont use your credit card or ATM card there
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 step toward an investigation (if there ever is one). 

8. 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. 

9. Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, if it 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): 

For more information or a free consultation on your legal issue contact The Law Offices of Charles D. Scott PLLC, your injury law and family law attorneys, at 727-300-4878.


credit, credit score, FRAUD, identity theft, Protection, wallet

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