Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday.
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).
B4 you leave on your trip, take a photo copy of your passport and whatever credit cards you will be taking with you.
Keep them on your person (carry on) and when you get to your destination, place the photocopy along with your passport and credit cards in a safe.
If for some reason your passport and credit cards are stolen, (some people carry them on there person at all times) you still have a photocopy with all the information for the local Police in your hotel/resort safe.
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