Attorney’s Advice – No Charge

attorneyadviceRead this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice. A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company:

  1. The next time you order checks have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your checkbook, they will not know if you sign your checks with  just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your checks.
  2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put “Photo ID Required.”
  3. When you are writing checks to pay on your credit card accounts, do not put the complete account number on the “For” line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card  company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your check as it passes through all the check processing channels won’t have access to it.
  4. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your SIN# printed on your checks. You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it  printed, anyone can get it.
  5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each license, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and  phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when travel either here or abroad. We’ve all heard horror stories about fraud  that’s committed on us in stealing a name, address, SIN, credit cards.

Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieve(s) ordered an expensive monthly cell phone package, applied  for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Gateway computer, received a PIN  number from DMV to change my driving record information online, and more.

But here’s some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

  1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately. But the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them.
  2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc. were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).But here’s what is perhaps most important of all (I never even thought to do this):
  3. Call the two national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Insurance Number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen and they have to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves’ purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert.  Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away. This weekend someone turned it in. It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

12 Responses to “Attorney’s Advice – No Charge”

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi MB, If you are concerned that you may be a suspect it is a good idea to have legal representation with you. It is not a bad idea to connect with an attorney prior to going into the police department so you can find out what they recommend is the best course of action. Since I am not a lawyer I wouldn’t be the best one to advise you so it is wise to seek out local legal counsel to make sure your rights are protected.

  • MB says:

    I was called to be questioned at the police dept due to a theft of a wallet at a retail store I was working at recently and I am hesitant to go alone with an attorney present. What is the best course of action for this? I want to cooperative but am fearful in going alone.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Abbie, I would recommend that you get legal advice from someone in your local area. I am not a lawyer and so I wouldn’t want to give you any misleading advice. Have you talked with the owner of the vehicle about how their choice not to pay is affecting you? You may have recourse to repossess the vehicle so that you can sell it and recoup some of your losses, but that is something you would need to discuss with a lawyer. I know that lawyers in our area often will provide a free initial consultation. That may be something that you can ask about when you call to set up an appointment with any lawyer.

  • Abbie says:

    I cosigned on a vehicle. The owner has chosen not to pay. I want out of the cosigned contract. Is there anything I can do?

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Diana, that sounds like a pretty scary situation. Have you talked to the police about their guidelines for chases like that through residential areas? I would imagine that you could talk to someone in your municipal government who would make sure your concerns are noted. I am not a lawyer but I would imagine that if you thought that legal action was needed that you could find a lawyer in your area who would listen to your concern and advise you of next steps.

    So how are you emotionally after these incidents? It can be very difficult to function in life when you are fearful of other incidents like this happening again. How do you deal with that?

  • Diana Bonheur says:

    A woman recently evaded a police chase and nearly killed me. I just found out they
    will prosecute and give her jail time. This is the second accident in one year where
    the police has pursued a chase on my street. What rights do I have to file against
    this from ever happening again.

    I was literally killed on the first accident, and she caused three car accident plus
    damage to the property. It happened again because our street is parallel to
    the Merritt parkway. Please help me. Thank you.

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Sherry, I am no lawyer but it would seem to me that you are able to sue the one who hit your car but she may not have much to give you. Let me recommend that you do get in touch with an attorney; many will be willing to do an initial consultation for free especially if there is a potential for a successful lawsuit.

  • Sherry says:

    My parked vehicle was hit by an uninsured motorist…who was not cited & is still driving around. My insurance settlement is for the balance of my loan & a little leftover. But I am still out a vehicle & not enough for a down-payment on a replacement. Can I sue her for the deductible? Is there anything else I can sue her for, like part of the down-payment for a replacement vehicle? I’m not trying to be greedy, I just want to be “whole” again. I am assuming my insurance deducted the “deductible” since the driver had no insurance, because once before my car was totaled (not my fault) & my deductible was waived (different insurance co & that person had insurance).


  • Harry Swartz says:

    Good day

    Im asking on legal advice if its possible if u can please assist me on what i can do .

    A while ago i was helping out my brother inlaw boss he buys cars from durban and we use to drive it down to Johannesburg i have stoped doing it for the last three months my father has purchased a vehicle by the same company in pretoria . There was an argument between me and the owner what happend was i phoned two of the dealers and i told them that he buys the cars by them for a low price and sells it in pretoria for a high price i told one of the dealers does he know his web addresss and he responded yes .. last month i received a phone call from the owner who said he is p##sd of with me and that he knows what i done.. he then kept on phoning me that same day on my wifes phone and threatened me that he will sue me of lost of income i told him i done nothing wrong by telline the two dealers the truth .he then turned around and told me that he has proof of 4 dealers that will make an sworn statement that i spoke two them . Sir /madem i only spoke to two dealers that phone numbers i had i dont know who the other two are i never met them . The day he accused me of doing so i was at the beach with my family he said i went two the driving where i personally spoke to the four dealers which i did not do .im asking if there is any advice that ul can give me this morning his lawyer phoned me and said that he wants to sue me .please if there is any help of advice

    Thanks harry

  • Jamie Jamie says:

    Hi Charmaine, I do not have the experience to respond to your question. I would recommend getting advice from a professional. Think through what you want from this situation: are you hoping to get your money back or are you willing to cut your losses and end ties with him? Make sure you have all of your records gathered so you can show what the original contract was, the payments made, what work was completed and what is still outstanding. The more organized you are the less time you will need to spend with your advisor.

  • Charmaine says:

    Helo I’m in need for advice on cotract breach I had a man working for me and gave him in advance his agreement of paymentfor his side of the work and money to finixh the work which he has not done and he receive all of the payment he did not give his I’d no t me also but sign the contract I have waited for him to come and finish the jop but he never finish the jop we have pic up trouble with him because now he do not have the money to finsh the jop and exspect me to give him more money to do that which I have give him from the start so because of these reasons I have told him I don’t want his help anymore and now he wants a letter to confirm it. If he do receive the letter can he take me to court for contract breach thank you I’m in diestrades

  • Cat says:

    Fred Clark points out that credit card companies have pulled off a real piece of work there, convincing the world that the consumer is responsible for crimes committed against themselves.

    Me, I’ve found that the best protection against identity theft is to maintain really lousy credit. That’s why I do it. Honest.

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