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Old 03-06-2005, 10:16 AM   #1
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My best friend sent this so I thought that I would share.

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 REQUIRED".

3 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.

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 SIN# 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, SIN, credit cards.

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).

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.
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Old 03-06-2005, 10:36 AM   #2
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As far as not signing your credit cards...anyone could make a fake photo id with your name and any signature and nobody would know better unless your real signature was on the card. Just my .02. All the other stuff sounds pretty reasonable to me.
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:28 AM   #3
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I used to work for a bank, so let me comment:

1) Ask the bank as to what they think. Technically speaking, it's what's on the bank's end that matters, so you could have a joint account with only one person's name on the checks and both signers could use it. However, some businesses get paranoid, so you might find yourself running into a company that won't want to take a check that just has an initial and last name on it.

2) Technically speaking, that makes your credit card invalid. The fine print on the back of a credit card says that it isn't valid unless signed. Generally speaking, you have very little to worry about in signing your credit card, because in case of theft, most banks guarantee a complete refund of all transactions on a stolen credit card. However, I'd suggest that, for the paranoid, to sign the card and then, above your signature, write "Photo ID Required."

3) #3 is sound advice.

4) You don't even have to put your phone number on your checks, so I never volunteer information I don't have to put on. Same with Driver's License and SSNs--never put those on it. I had a P.O. Box, so I put that address on my checks, but I've also known some people to have printed checks with no address at all printed on them.

5) Not a bad idea, although I'm sure it wouldn't be good if someone stole the copies.

As for the last three, they're all good advice. California residents also have an even better option by having their credit information "frozen," preventing unsolicited inquiries. Hence, if you want a legitimate inquiry, you can call the credit agencies to have it unfrozen:

http://www.privacy.ca.gov/sheets/cis...rityfreeze.pdf

And here's further general advice:

http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs17a.htm

Melon
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Old 03-06-2005, 11:48 AM   #4
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My mum took and used my cheque book thinking it was hers, she used about eight of them all signed in her signature. We do have the same surname, but a different initial.
All the cheques passed through the bank no bother. Since it was just my mum, she paid me back once I realised what had happened. I asked a friend who worked for the bank about this and they don't check signatures unless the amount is more than £5,000.
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Old 03-06-2005, 01:54 PM   #5
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Thanks for the tips!
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Old 03-06-2005, 02:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon
However, I'd suggest that, for the paranoid, to sign the card and then, above your signature, write "Photo ID Required."
not only that, but it's been my experience that they never look at the back of a card. i've had credit cards (and check cards) for 6 years now. i don't think i've ever had someone look at my signature once.
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Old 03-07-2005, 09:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes

not only that, but it's been my experience that they never look at the back of a card. i've had credit cards (and check cards) for 6 years now. i don't think i've ever had someone look at my signature once.
Yeah I was going to say that I wrote this once on a past card I had, and I think I was only asked 4 or 5 times (by the same person) for photo id- in the other 2 years w/ the card no one flipped it over or asked for photo id.
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Old 03-07-2005, 09:39 AM   #8
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Some more tips:

- NEVER EVER give your pin # to anyone and do not keep it on your atm/debit/credit card(s) so that you can remember it.

- when using atm machines if you think they look like they have been tampered with - DO NOT USE THEM.

- make sure that when you dispose of any personal information that it is destroyed so that no one has access to the info...Buy a shredder for all your credit card statements, phone bills, tax returns, addressed envelopes that you no longer require. Anything that has your name, address, phone number or credit info on it.

- do not carry id in your wallet or purse that you do need to carry with you. Replacing lost/stolen id can be difficult and expensive. Many government agencies are now charging for replacement id.
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Old 03-07-2005, 10:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes

not only that, but it's been my experience that they never look at the back of a card. i've had credit cards (and check cards) for 6 years now. i don't think i've ever had someone look at my signature once.
One of my jobs is in retail, and I always check and hang onto the card until after the slip has been signed so I can verify that they match. If there isn't a signature, I ask for ID. I get a lot of customers who thank me and say that nobody else ever bothers to do that.
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Old 03-07-2005, 12:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bonochick
One of my jobs is in retail, and I always check and hang onto the card until after the slip has been signed so I can verify that they match. If there isn't a signature, I ask for ID. I get a lot of customers who thank me and say that nobody else ever bothers to do that.
You beat me to it Bonochick! I worked in retail for over 6 years while I was in school. I ALWAYS checked their id when the back of the card said 'See Photo ID'. And, yes, the customers were often grateful and said that they were rarely asked to produce ID even though they clearly requested it on the back of their card.
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