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How to Save Yourself When You Are a Victim of Theft

Great tips and advice on how to survive and what you should be doing prior to becoming a victim of theft.

This article was written by:

Suzanne McLaughlin ~ Be sure to visit her blog on ActiveRain

Sabinske & Associates, Inc.   612-202-0225    mclaughlinhomes@gmail.com

Visit my facebook fan page McLaughlin Homes 

People who work hard get lucky more often. - Donald Trump

Even  if you dislike attorneys..You will love them for  these tips.  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. 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. (DUH!) You can add it if it isn ecessary. But if you have ot 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 first hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month... Within a week, the thieves 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 tolen, 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, if it has been stolen:

 1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 

 2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742                 thief

 3.) Trans Union : 1-800-680 7288

 4.) Social Security Administration (fraudline):  1-800-269-0271

 We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything...How about something useful as well?  If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about .

Suzanne McLaughlin

Sabinske & Associates, Inc.   612-202-0225    mclaughlinhomes@gmail.com

Visit my facebook fan page McLaughlin Homes 

People who work hard get lucky more often. - Donald Trump

Your Home. My Priority. Since 2003

Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE)
Certified Default Resolution Specialist (CDRS)
Short Sales & Foreclosure Resource ~ Certified (SFR)
NAR's Green Designation ~ Certified Green
Certifed Negotiation Expert (CNE)
Property Manager

Ferrari-Lund Real Estate

 Cell ~ 775.846.5424

Email ~ Terrie@terrieleighton.com

 

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Comment balloon 3 commentsTerrie Leighton • April 11 2010 05:09PM

Comments

Excellent tips.  Thanks.  Charlie Gantz, Greenwood, IN; J.D., M.B.A.; Owner/Principal Broker, Atlas Commercial Real Estate, LLC

Posted by Charlie Gantz, J.D., M.B.A. (Keller Williams Commercial, Tampa Bay) over 8 years ago

My niece had her identity stolen just as she was graduating from college.  It has been 12 years and things are still cropping up.  The person who stole her identity was caught and went to jail but that still did not get all the mess cleared up.

This list is great.  I only wish she had this list back then.  Thanks for all the info now.

Posted by Barbara Calwhite, 417-438-7387 Specializing in Relocation (Keller Williams Realty of Southwest Missouri) over 8 years ago

Terrie - These are excellent tips.  I have almost always done tip #1, but I will begin doing tip #2 right away.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 8 years ago

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