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Word Of Warning About Personal ID

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Alice

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Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Hi everyone;

With rampant identity theft, almost everyone knows not to have your SS# or phone number printed on your personal checks. But have you ever thought about the linking ID you carry on your person at any given time?

My husband lost his wallet at the airport the other night and didn't realize it until later the next day. In that amount of time, we had charges already showing up on our accounts.

The scary part is, he had his SS card, driver's license, bank card, credit card and a couple of checks all together in his wallet. For all I know, my husband is now a brand new man walking around out there somewhere and repercussions could stretch years down the road. :(

I'm going to now separate my pieces of personal ID; no more carrying it all in my purse.

What's in your wallet?
 

Scooterman

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Oct 30, 2003
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Louisiana
Make a photo copy of ever card in your wallet or purse, save it in a safe location so you can make calls rather quick to your creditors.
 

reedman

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Jun 30, 2003
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Location
Mukilteo, WA
Very true. It's a bit scary out there with identity theft. The credit and debit cards can be fixed, but true identity theft can be a life long battle to fix all of the credit issues. I hope you (nor anyone else) has to deal with it.
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
Messages
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I always ask to have my SSN removed from my driver's license when renewing. I also think on the SS cards it says not to carry with you. Alice - it might be a good idea to occasionally check on your credit report in the future, to make sure that nothing else shows up. What's in my wallet? I don't carry too much with me - my gym card, drivers license, one credit card, debit card, insurance, gum or mints, and sometimes Tootsie Pops (except when I weaned myself off them :( ).
 

Katchupoy

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Jul 9, 2003
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Kent 98031
In my case, i dont anymore carry a debit card. A friend of mine was surprised about his debit card used in Portland and in CA in one day. And the real question was, how were they able to use his debit card while he still has it. And since this is not credit card, only some can be contested.

If you feel that you need to carry plastic with you and if its a debit card, then create a new account with only 500 dollars on it.... if worse come to worse then only 500 will be robbed from you.

Also, to all computer users... please be very careful about emails asking for your ID renewal or info renewal....

The SOP is that they wont email you but instead snail mail you. A lot of people makes mistakes like these and these are very very clevel people.

Hope everything is works for all of you.
 

snobanker

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Joined
Aug 23, 2004
Messages
911
Location
Auburn, WA
Folks, I deal with identity theft and other forms of fraud every single day. You wouldn't believe the reports I take from people. Let me give a few details. Please, I don't mean to make you worry but just keep this stuff in mind.

First off who does identity theft? College grads with mind blowing educations looking to make their way in the world??? I doooonnntt thiiiiink so. These are the meth/drug users that spend 5-7 days and nights at a time awake with nothing better to do than think up ways to rip you off. They are so good at it, it makes your eyes water. They have entire data bases of peoples info stored in laptops, notepads, files etc. They use some of it right away and some they hold on to until its convenient to them, some they never use. They think of interesting ways to use this info and get their minions (a lot of kids..oh yes, kids) to go out and steal it for them....they pay them off with meth.

A lot of "property crimes"(theft, fraud) are interelated to the drug trade....Here's a typical example of a "crime spree"..... Local dirt bag goes out at night with his "pals" they drive to a local nieghborhood in a stolen car, leave it, and easily steal your car in seconds(beware Honda, Nissan, Acura, and Toyota owners). They then drive it to another neighborhood usually in another city. They break into your mailbox, and your cars, grabbing every piece of paper and every other meth trading valuable they can find. Some do burglaries at your house for an even bigger haul. Now they have a car full of mail..your mail. They pick through it all..not for the local Piggly Wiggly coupons either. They get all your credit card bills, credit card offers, bank statements, workmans comp checks, you name it..heck even your vehicle registrations are useful...huh? really??....hey isn't that your "signature" on the bottom of that DOL form???? Handy for signing the fake checks they are going to make with your bank account info. Ok so now they take thier booty with them, leave that stolen car, steal another one to get home in and drive to their local shank meth supplier, who trades a little 1"x1" baggie of meth for your "life" on paper. Oh, they check your trash cans too.....

Ok so now the real work begins....they take all that info, pick out what they can use...make some fake ID's with your name and address and their other minions pictures on them. Print up some fake checks on their bubblejet, and head for the bank. They(you) cash your(their) checks and off they go to the next one.... Later they take all this money back to the boss and he gives them two 1"x1" baggies of meth. So then the boss takes the money and other goodies to their supplier and get even more meth so they can use it and pay the troops...opps they blew all their cash on meth...better send out the troops again to start all over. Did I mention that this only took about 12 hours for the entire cycle?

Oh hey what is it that they end up doing with all the stolen property they got?...pawn shop for cash?...tsss you would think so...Heck no these people don't ever really "profit' from it, other than scoring more "crank". It just gets traded up the line until it just gets thrown in a big pile with all the other stolen stuff in the back room, where we find it when we finally get enough info for probable cause to do a search warrant to bust these peolpe...until the county prosecutors slap their hands and let them go...we have a budget crunch you know, prosecuting criminals cost money. Its just easier and cheaper to let them go.

Now for the stolen purses and wallets. Pretty much the same vicious circle except now they can quickly get gas, pizza, porn mags and movies, pay their electric bill...hey even meth maggots have bills, all with your Visa Platinum Plus with the majestic bald eagle on it. Plus they have your ID...takes about 10 seconds to laminate their picture over yours. Heck they don't even need to do that. Your friendly neighborhood AM/PM clerk checks the ID, but are they really looking at it.... I have been to fraudulant use of ID/credit card calls where the 6'02" 100 lb, shaved head, bearded white guy named "Shirley U Jest" gets away with using "Shirley's" ID...Hmm he looks just like a short brunette Asian female....

All I can say is protect youslf...heed the advise given in previous posts in this thread. Here are my suggestions.

-Get a locking community mailbox..better yet a PO box..trust me the guy who lost his $12,000.00 savings account decided it "would" have been worth it.
-Bring all mail to the post office.
-keep credit and ID in a small wallet in your pocket..not in your purse
-shred all personal mail, bill statements, documents, even those junk credit card offers in your name
-keep the Visa, Mastercard, AE etc theft hotline number on your speed dial...if your stuff gets stolen get on the phone "NOW!!" and report it...if you use one of those credit card theft type agencies that say they report all your stolen cards with one call...call them all anyway....it "don't" always work.
-memorize that SSN and keep the card in a safe place(not with you), wherever that is..Ft Knox comes to mind, but good luck with that one
-I don't write checks as a rule so I never carry a check book..use a debit card and safeguard it. Oh by the way. If you get your check book stolen ..call your bank "NOW!!" If you get it back, look through it and make sure that one check between #2345 and #2347 is still there...sneaky sneaky. Oh and get your cash at the store cashier or an inside ATM machine....there are "high tech" cranksters that have special readers that get them your debit card number and PIN from the ATM..(ahh Cesar maybe your friend.....hmmm)
-never never never never give anyone credit card or bank information you don't trust...did i say never? I went on a call where a guy had "confirmed" his credit card number through a fake "AOL Security dept" link he got in his email...dumb dumb dumb...oh by the way he was a cop from another agency...did I say dumb?...and never?
-I never said this, but don't sign your vehicle registration..if you get stopped and the cop yells at you for it, apologize and ask to use his pen...heck even if he was a jerk enough to actually give you a ticket for that chippy violation, it would be better than what could happen.....I would never write that one....we get credit for verbal warnings too.
-check your credit report three times a year or so (its free now, 1 each for each (3)bureau) this way you can see if there is anything on there you didn't do..like that Spring Hills Nursery account you didn't open...hey Tommy Tweaker likes roses too....


I guess what I'm trying to get across is "just be careful" don't be a statistic. And secondly if it does happen to you..don't panic. Is it a pain in the arse? yes it is, but banks and credit card companies work with people on this now pretty well. Its a lot easier to get your money back. Basically the systems that our moneys are in are what is broken. Its so easy to defraud people that criminals can't help but take advantage. It doesn't help that the justice system slaps hands and sets them free either..I hope that makes you mad, cause it's true...I know, not everywhere, but a lot of places...anyone here live in the county of King(dom) hmmmmm

Sorry for the long post
 
Last edited:

mattseattle

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Jul 15, 2003
Messages
2,694
Location
Seattle, WA
No - don't carry your Social Security card. Mine is locked away with my life insurance stuff. No need to every really use it.
 

MzWeazelle

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Joined
Jan 11, 2004
Messages
169
Location
WA State
I don't know if any of you ever have to look for a new job, but I'll guarantee you, you will need your SS CARD not number if you get a new job! If you get a job without one be careful because your new employer may be on the hotseat soon! Now, I'm not saying you should carry the card with you all the time, but be sure you can get to it when you need it!
 

NaH2O

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Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Stan - great info!

Here is somthing from Curtswearing when we were discussing this same topic:

Curtswearing said:
Nikki,

I didn't see this article you are mentioning but I copied and pasted the following from an quarterly newsletter I sent to my clients.

Protecting Your Privacy: How To Prevent Credit Card Fraud,
Reduce Junk Mail And Keep Personal Information To Yourself

George Orwell was right. Big Brother is watching. So is just about everyone else who can profit from your personal information.

If you think your credit card numbers, medical records, Social Security number, e-mail address and other personal information are private, think again. If you’ve ever entered a contest, filled out a warranty card, obtained a credit card, subscribed to a magazine or participated in a chat group, you’ve shared information that is most likely being shared with others.

Have you wondered why you receive telemarketing calls, direct mail, e-mails and other solicitations that are geared to your personal tastes, income level, political affiliation and demographic profile? Personal information about you is likely being sold or shared by some of the financial institutions you do business with to government agencies.

What can you do to protect your privacy?

Plenty. But be prepared to spend a great deal of time covering your trail. Even with an exhaustive effort, you may not be able to eliminate intrusions into your privacy, but the following actions can at least limit them.

Financial Privacy

The biggest concern for most people is protecting their financial privacy. Credit card numbers, PIN numbers and other personal information in the wrong hands can result in credit card fraud, theft from your bank accounts and other financial headaches.

To protect your financial information, consider the following actions:

1. Obtain Your Credit Report.

The information in your credit report is available to employers, insurers, lenders and anyone else with a legitimate business need to obtain the information. You may not be able to prevent the personal information in your credit report from being used, but you can at least make certain the information is accurate. Inaccurate information can affect your ability to borrow money, lease an apartment, purchase insurance or get a job.

Your credit report can be purchased for a nominal fee or, in some cases, at no cost from the following credit bureaus:
· Experian, 888-EXPERIAN (888-397-3742) or www.experian.com
· Equifax, 800-685-1111 or www.equifax.com
· Trans Union, 800-888-4213 or www.transunion.com

2. Opt Out.
Financial institutions that share customer information – including banks, credit card companies, insurance companies and brokerage firms – are required by law to allow you to opt out, which would prevent them from sharing your personal information.
Federal law also requires financial institutions to send you a privacy notice annually. The notice should include a phone number or a form you can fill out to opt out from having your personal information shared with third parties. You can also contact the financial institutions you do business with at any time and ask them to opt you out.

3. Stop Credit Offers.
According to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego, you can also opt out from receiving pre-approved credit card offers by calling 1-888-5OPTOUT. Make one call and your request will be shared by the three credit bureaus.
This one step alone should stop the onslaught of credit card offers in the mail which I'm sure you are shredding prior to throwing away (hint).

4. Protect Your Social Security Number.
Give out your Social Security Number only when you are required to do so, since your financial records and credit report are linked to the number. When the number is requested, ask if you can provide a different identification number. You will, of course, need to use your Social Security Number in many cases, such as to obtain a credit card or open a bank account.

Don’t keep your Social Security card in your wallet, since your wallet may be stolen to obtain your financial information.

Medical Privacy

The worst privacy problem other than having your financial information made available to the wrong people may be having your medical information available to the wrong people. To protect your medical records:

5. Obtain Your Medical History.
The insurance industry shares a database called the Medical Information Bureau (MIB) where your medical history is stored. You can obtain your medical history by contacting the MIB at P.O. Box 105, Essex Station, Boston, MA 02112 or 617-426-3660. The report costs $8, but can be obtained at no charge if you receive a letter from an insurance company that says the company used MIB information to make a decision about you.
Continued below.....
 

NaH2O

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 25, 2004
Messages
8,568
Continued from above:

General Privacy
Telemarketing calls, spam (unsolicited e-mail) and junk mail may not be as troubling as potential credit card fraud, but they can be time consuming and annoying. Other steps you can take to protect your privacy and reduce the barrage of sales pitches include the following:

6. Get Off Junk Mail Lists.
Is it direct mail or junk mail? If you consider it junk mail, write to the Mail Preference Service (MPS), P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008 and ask to have your name removed from mailing lists. Contacting MPS will reduce your junk mail, but it won’t eliminate it.

Once you’ve contacted MPS, contact individual companies that continue to send you junk mail and ask them to stop. In addition, many credit card companies, magazines and other businesses that frequently communicate by mail provide a form with a box you can check if you which to keep your personal information from being sold to other companies.

7. Get On “Do Not Call” Lists
When you receive calls from telemarketers, ask to be placed on their “do not call” lists. According to the Privacy Clearinghouse, they are required by federal law to honor your request. Also, send your name, address and phone number to the Direct Marketing Association’s Telephone Preference Service at P.O. Box 9014, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9014 and let the association know that you do not want to receive telemarketing calls. Sign up for Missouri’s No-Call list at www.ago.state.mo.us/ (or call 1-866-662-2551).******For Indiana's No Call List call 1-888-834-9969, or go to Indiana's No Call List on the Attorney General's Page.

8. Keep Personal Information To Yourself.
Keep in mind that every time you share personal information with someone else, that company is likely to share it with other companies, who are likely to share it with other companies, too. Every time the information is shared, you can expect more telemarketing calls, more junk mail and, if your e-mail address is included, more spam.

Activities that may result in the sharing of your personal information include the following:

· Filling out warranty and product registration cards
· Entering a contest
· Joining a club or organization
· Donating money to a charity or political cause
· Subscribing to magazine
· Joining a book club or music club
· Listing in a telephone book

(Read the fine print carefully, it is fine print on purpose....to get you to not read it). To minimize disruptions to your privacy, provide only the information you are required to provide and send a letter to the business, organization or government agency involved and ask that the information you provide not be sold, shared or exchanged.

Information about major events in your life, including marriage and divorce, a birth or the purchase of a home, is recorded by government agencies and is available to the public. Write to companies that contact you based on this information and ask to be deleted from their mailing lists.

9. Use the Internet Carefully.
Do not share personal information by e-mail, chat lines or forums. Your communications will not be private unless they are encrypted. If you fill out a form to make a purchase online, be certain to provide information only via a secure server. The form should tell you whether the site is secure; if it doesn’t say, assume it is not secure.

10. Use Toll-Free Numbers Sparingly.
When you call a number with a special area code (i.e., 800, 888, 877, 866 or 900), your phone number may be recorded by an Automatic Number Identification (ANI) system and then sold to companies that will use it for telemarketing. Avoid making unnecessary calls on these numbers.

11. Be Careful What You Say On the Telephone.
When you’re speaking on a cordless or cellular telephone, do not give out your credit card number or any other personal information. While newer, digital models offer some protection, older cordless and cellular telephones transmit your conversations using radio signals, which can be picked up on radio scanners.

12. Have An Unlisted Telephone Number.
Listing your phone number in a telephone book makes it available to everyone. Weigh the inconvenience of an unlisted number against the desire to protect your privacy.

You may also want to order caller ID with a blocking feature. Blocking prevents your phone number from being transmitted to other people with caller ID when you call.

13. Don't use your mother's real maiden name. Invent a maiden name and remember it so that it is consistent on all medical charts, credit card apps, etc. If they have obtained your address, social security number, etc. plus they know your mother's maiden name, they have carte blanche with your credit.

Don’t Panic

Technology advances have resulted in a reduction in your privacy, but have also provided us with more ways to protect our privacy. The tips provided in this article will provide you with a personal security system for your personal information, but keep in mind that someone who really wants the information probably will find some way to obtain it. Don’t panic. Don’t be paranoid. But be cautious every time you share personal information, and remind yourself that it is easier than ever for someone who wants it to obtain that information.
FYI - We called the 18885OPTOUT, and have quit receiving those annoying pre-approved credit cards in the mail. Each person receiving them has to call, though. Also, no call lists are great, however, I'm not sure if each state has one or not.

Hope this helps!
 

snobanker

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 23, 2004
Messages
911
Location
Auburn, WA
I put myself on the do not call list the second time around and I have virtually stopped all telemarketing calls........If you haven't yet, but can, do it asap...it works. :D
 

Alice

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Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Lots of good info in this thread; thanks everyone.

Thankfully, Steve found his wallet! It was stuck in the track of the car seat and we found it when the seat wouldn't adjust. It was a pain in the arse getting all of our accounts changed but the alternative could have been so much worse.

What a relief!
 

Alice

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Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
Oh, and the charges showing up on our account? Stuff we had on back order and forgot about - so we even had a surprise visit from the UPS man. :)
 

Alice

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Joined
Jul 18, 2003
Messages
1,108
LOL Nikki; the same thought had crossed my mind a time or two.... I didn't voice it cuz with my luck, I'd be the next one to loose something! ;) :D
 
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