Saturday, April 18, 2009

Advice

ATTORNEY'S ADVICE -- NO CHARGE

 

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

company.

 

1. The next time you order cheques have only your initials (instead of

first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your chequebook,

they will not know if you sign your cheques with just your initials or

your first name, but your bank will know how you sign them.

 

2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID

REQUIRED".

 

3. When you are writing cheques 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 cheque as it passes through

all the cheque processing channels won't have access to it.

 

4. Put your work phone # on your cheques instead of your home phone.  If

you have a P.O. box use that instead of your home address. If you do not

have a P.O. box, use your work address. Never have your SIN# printed on

your cheques (DUH!). 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 travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories

about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, SIN,

credit cards.

 

Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet

was stolen last month. Within a week, the thief 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 two national credit reporting organizations immediately to

place a fraud alert on your name and Social Insurance 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 thief's purchases, none of which I knew about before

placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the

thief threw my wallet away (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 Canada: 1-877-249-2705

 

2.) TransUnion: 1-877-525-3823

 

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything.

But if you are willing to pass this information along, it could really

help someone that you care about.

 

Thanks Win S.

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