If your identity were to get stolen, would you know what to do? Neil Lanzi gives tips to help prevent identity theft and explains steps to take in case you are a theft victim.
- When you are paying your bills by personal check each month, especially your credit card accounts, simply place the last four numbers of your account on the “memo” line. Never include the entire account number. This will help prevent access to your account in the event your information comes into the wrong hands.
- Include your work telephone number on your personal checks instead of your home phone (if you still have one).
- Absolutely never include your social security number on your personal checks.
- Copy the contents of your wallet, including both sides of your driver’s license, credit cards and any other identification. Keep the copy in a secure location.
- When traveling with a passport, maintain a photocopy in a separate location. This will help in the event your passport is stolen while traveling.
- In the event your wallet is stolen and your credit cards were in your wallet, contact each credit card company (hence the need to copy your credit cards).
- File a police report in the location where your wallet was stolen. This will help in the event there is the need for an investigation. The filing of the report also shows due diligence on your part.
- If a theft victim, contact the three national credit reporting organizations immediately so that a fraud alert can be placed on your name. Also call the social security fraud line number.
- The numbers you will need in the event your wallet is stolen are as follows:
Trans Union 1-800-680-7289
Social Security Administration Fraud Line 1-800-269-0271