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Tips for Protecting Your Credit
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clistguy's avatar
clistguy - 9 years ago

It seems like I am always seeing commercials about how someone is trying to steal my identity and how I need to pay some company to protect me from identinty theft.  I know that it can happen and that it can cause some major headaches for the person that gets their identity stolen but I'm still not willing to pay someone for that just in case scenario.  I have however came accross some tips that I believe are valid and could definitely help if followed.

Rules to follow when using credit cards or checks:

1.) Don't sign the back of your credit cards.  Instead, write "See Photo I.D.

2.) When writing checks to pay on credit card accounts, don't put the entire account number on the check.  The last four digits is enough for the credit card company to know it's your account but not enough for someone handling your check to gain access to your account.

3.)  Don't write your personal phone number on checks.  Use a work phone number if possible.

4.)  If you have a PO Box use that address for your checks instead of your home address.

5.)  Don't put your Social Security number on your checks.

In the Case of a lost or stolen walet/purse:

1.)  Photocopy the contents of your wallet/purse.  Make copies of both sides of each credit card, liscense, etc.  This will make it easy for you to figure out what you were carrying with you and will provid you with the account numbers and contact information to cancel service if needed.

2.)  File a police report immediately.  This will prove to credit providers that you were diligent.

3.)  Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations which are Equifax, Experian and Trans Union
immediately to place a fraud alert on your name. You should also conact the Social Security fraud line.  The alert means that any company that checks your credit will know your information has been stolen and they must contact you by phone before authorizing new credit.

Important Phone Numbers:
Equifax:  1-800-525-6285
Experian: 1-888-397-3742
Trans Union:  1-800-680-7289
Social Security Administration:  1-800-269-0271


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