On Your Side: Consumer Advice

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News 12 at 6, July 30, 2007

Getting advice from an attorney will usually cost you quite a few bucks, but 12 On Your Side has a few suggestions for you, which could save you a bunch of hassle.

Some of it you may need reminding on and some of it you may never have heard of before. Either way, it's good information to help keep you safe.

First off, don't sign the back of your credit cards, just put ‘See ID’.

Also, don't put your full account number on checks to pay credit card bills, just put the last 4 digits. That will be plenty of information to verify who you are.

Next time you are by a copy machine, take out all the contents of your wallet and make copies of the front and back of them.

Do both sides of your license, credit cards and insurance information.

That way, if your wallet gets stolen, you'll have all the right account numbers and phone numbers to call and set things straight.

Lastly, if your wallet is stolen, call the three credit bureaus as soon as you can to put a fraud alert on your name.

Also, call the Social Security Fraud Line to file a report.

This way, you will be contacted by phone if any lines of credit are being opened in your name.

And, you may not think it will make a difference, but you should file a police report if your information is stolen. It will be good documentation to the creditors and could help in an investigation.

Credit Bureaus:

  • Experian: 1-888-397-3742
  • Transunion: 1-800-680-7289
  • Exquifax: 1-888-766-0008
  • Social Security Fraud Line: 1-800-269-0271

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