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Not about Art, but important, interesting information


From: Ann Ayers (art304_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Mar 30 2005 - 19:51:56 PST

My daughter sent this to me - I thought it might be useful information
for just about anyone...


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 checks have only your initials (instead of
first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook,
they will not know if you sign your checks with just your initials or
your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.

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

3 When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card account! s, 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.

4. 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.

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, Social Security number, ! credit cards.

Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand 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:

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 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to
place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security 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,
etc., 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): 1-800-269-0271

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.