Place the contents of
your WALLET on a photocopy machine, copy both sides of each I.D.
card/license, credit card, etc. Therefore if there is a theft or
loss, you will have the account numbers and phone numbers handy to
call and report them stolen or lost. Keep the photocopies in a
safe, secure place where they are accessible to you only. Make
sure the copies do not get into the wrong hands.
We have all heard horror
stories about frauds committed on victims using their names,
addresses, social security numbers, credit cards, etc. Imagine
having your wallet stolen and within a week the bandit(s) ordered an
expensive monthly cell phone package, applied for a credit card, had a
credit line approved to buy a computer, received a PIN number from the
Department of Motor Vehicles to change your license information
online, and more.
Here is some strategic
information to limit the damage caused in case this happens to you or
someone you know.
1. Pull out those handy
copies to made.
2. Report your credit
cards stolen immediately.
3. File a police report
immediately in the jurisdiction where it was stolen. This proves
to credit providers you were diligent and is a first step toward an
investigation, if one is needed.
4. This next one is
perhaps most important: Call the three national credit reporting
organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and
social security number. This will alert companies that are
checking your credit that your information was stolen and it flags
those companies to contact you by phone to authorize any new credit.
If you do not do this as soon as possible after the theft you allow
the thieves time to cause the most damage.
The three national
credit reporting organizations numbers are:
Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289
Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
Tip: Do not leave anything of value in plain view inside your