A corporate Attorney sent some of the following to his employees.
1. Do Not sign the back of your credit cards, Instead, put "Photo ID Required"
note: some places refuse this though if there isn't a signature on it..At least i had that experience
2. When writing checks to pay credit card Accounts, Do Not put the complete account number on the check..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. You can put your work phone # on instead of your home Phone. You could use a P O Box instead of your home address..If you have one. Never have your SS# printed on your checks.(duh!)
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 the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. It is wise also to carry a Photocopy of your passport when traveling. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a Name, address, SS # and credit cards.
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 dilligent, and this is a first step towards an investigation ( if there ever is one).
7. (You might not even think of this) But here is what is the most important thing of all: 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.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. In case someone tries online to open an account with your stolen information
Now, here are all the numbers you always need to contact about if your wallet, etc,has been stolen:
A. EQUIFAX : 800-525-6285
B. EXPERIAN (formerly TRW) : 888-397-3742
C. TRANS UNION : 800-680-7289
D. SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION (fraud line) 800-269-0271
If you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about.