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Wayne Adult Community Center

Feature article from the September, 2001 Newsletter

WHAT TO DO IF YOU LOSE YOUR PURSE OR WALLET

We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud that’s committed using your name, address, Social Security number, credit card numbers, and other information.  It is possible for identity thieves not only to buy things and charge them to you, but also to raid your sav-ings and checking accounts, and to impersonate you in a variety of matters.  Unless you demonstrate that you were diligent in reporting the fraud promptly, you may not recover all losses.  Here is some critical information to limit the damage:

You already know to cancel your credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers available when you need them, so keep them where you can find them easily (NOT just in your wallet or purse, which might be stolen with the cards - keep a copy at home and in the car).

File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where the credit cards were stolen.  That proves to credit providers that you were diligent, and also may provide authorities with a valuable lead.

Equally important: Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number.  It is also best to follow up by mail.  Their addresses and phone numbers are:

TransUnion Fraud Victim Assistance Department
PO Box 6790
Fullerton, CA 92834
800-680-7289 Monday through Friday 5:30 AM - 4:30 PM PST
Fax: 714-447-6034

Equifax Credit Information Services Consumer Fraud Division
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374
800-525-6285 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Fax 770-375-2821

Experian Experian’s National Consumer Assistance
PO Box 9530
Allen, TX 75013
888-397-3742 (888-EXPERIAN) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
For Hearing-impaired: 800 972 0322

You should also contact the Social Security Administration, even if you don't currently collect Social Security.  Their number is 800-772-1213 and you can reach a live person between 7 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday.

Lastly, contact all banks where you have accounts, to initiate special security precautions against unauthorized withdrawals.

Most of the advice in the above article was submitted by a member who prefers to remain anonymous.


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