Prevent Check and Credit Card Fraud

…or Minimize the Grief If It Happens

  • The next time you order checks, have only your first and middle initials and last name printed on them, instead of your full name.
  • If you have a PO box, use that on your checks instead of your home address.
  • Never have your social security number printed on your checks.
  • Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Copy both sides of each license, credit card, etc. This creates a record of everything you had in your wallet, and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call if you need to report a theft. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either domestically or abroad.

If you are a victim of credit card theft or check fraud:

  • File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
  • Cancel your credit cards immediately. The key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. That’s where the copies you made above come in handy.
  • Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number:
  • Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
  • Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
  • TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
  • Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271