1. The next time you order cheques, have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your chequebook, they will not know if you sign your cheques with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign them!
2. When writing cheques to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number of the “For” line..instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of your number, and anyone who might be handling your cheque as it passes through all the cheque processing channels, won’t have access to it.
3. Put your work telephone # on your cheques, instead of your home telephone # (if, in fact you need to show a telephone # at all), If you have a P.O. Box – use that instead of your home address. NEVER have your SIN # printed on your cheques (DUH !).
4. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of each card/license, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone #’s to call and cancel, if necessary. Keep the photocopy in a safe place.
5. File a police report immediately, where your cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is the first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).
6. Call the two national credit reporting organizations immediately, to place a fraud or stolen alert on your name/account. The alert means that any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by telephone to authorize new credit.
Here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet, etc. having been stolen.
a) EQUIFAX CANADA 1-877-249-2705
b) TRANSUNION 1-877-525-3823
Always better safe than sorry!
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