This was shared via e-mail from a dear friend, who is also a family caregiver.

Not A Joke!! 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

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 is necessary. But if you have It 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
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 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 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 1-800-525-6285 1-800-525-6285 1-800-525-6285

2.) Experian (formerly TRW):


3.) Trans Union :

1-800-680 7289

4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line):

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