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
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
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,
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
But here's what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to
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.