As we do more and more real estate business we need to protect ourselves from [tag-tec]identity theft[/tag-tec].
Here are 7 vital tips from a corporate attorney who had his credit cards stolen recently. ( He wishes to remain anonymous).
1. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead write “Photo ID Required”.
2. Never write your entire credit card number on your check when you pay on your credit card accounts.
Write the last four digits of the number only. The credit card company already knows your number. This will keep your number out of a lot of hands as your check is being processed.
3. Substitute a Post Office Box for your home address on any check you write. If you don’t have a Post office Box use your work address.
4. Never write your social security number on a check.
5. Take everything out of your wallet and copy it front and back on a copying machine.
If your wallet should be stolen you will have all the information, including your credit card numbers, readily available.
You will also have the correct numbers to call to cancel your stolen credit card numbers. This can be accomplished within minutes only if you have all the information in front of you.
This is a good idea for your passport too.
6. File a police report where your credit cards were stolen.
This is vital because it will prove to the credit cards companies that you were doing everything you could to be persistent and were not negligent.
Should there be an investigation, this of course, would be the first step.
7. Call the three national credit reporting companies just as soon as you cancel your card numbers with the credit card companies.
Tell them to place a [tag-ice]fraud alert[/tag-ice] on your name. This will prevent anyone from applying for any kind of credit, including a line of credit in your name over The Internet.
Another important point is any company that checks your credit for any reason will have to contact you to authorize new credit. No new credit can be approved without permission from you.
If someone is trying to steal your [tag-self]identity[/tag-self] he will most likely hit a brick wall.