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One of the many public service announcements brought to by the friendly folks
at Seewald's art gallery.  Don't forget to help an artist out with a small, or large, donation form.

Toll free numbers for the credit reporting agencies, and the Social Security Agency,  below.

This is good information and probably the only free advice you will ever get from an attorney.

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company. We pass it along, for your information.

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.

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 SS number printed on your checks - you can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed, anyone can get it.
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, if the need arises.

Keep the photocopy in a safe place.  Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either at home or abroad.

We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards, etc. Unfortunately I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) 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 on-line, and more.

But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know. 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 easily.

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 there ever is one).

But here's what is perhaps most important: (I never even thought to do this)
Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security 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 thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away this weekend (someone turned it in), it seems to have stopped them in their tracks.

The numbers are Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271

 

One of the many public service announcements brought to by the friendly folks
at Seewald's art gallery.  Don't forget to help an artist out with a small, or large, donation form.

 

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Michael Seewald Galleries
Del Mar Plaza
1555 Camino Del Mar, Ste. 312, Del Mar, California, 92014 USA 
Phone: 858.793.3444 

Open Wed. thru Sun., 2 p.m. till 8 p.m.
Friday and Saturdays till 10 p.m..
Call first if going out of your way, we sometimes close to run errands.


1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016  Michael Seewald.  All rights reserved.
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