Photocopy your credit cards for safety
Consumers usually have protection against any unauthorized credit card charges, such as in instances of card theft. But while you may not be liable for charges a thief rings up on your plastic, you need to have certain information to help report the credit card stolen in the first place.
As a precaution, experts recommend photocopying all the various low interest credit cards, airline credit cards or whatever type you carry in your wallet -- front and back. That way you know exactly what credit cards you were carrying and have an account number for each. Copying the reverse side of your credit cards means you will have all the customer service numbers you need to report your credit cards stolen.
While you are at it, you may want to photocopy other important ID cards in your wallet. You can also make a copy of your passport to carry for both domestic and international travel.
But since your photocopied credit card information is useless if it gets lost, be sure to store it in a safe place. And, don't put it in your wallet, since it will get stolen along with your credit cards if a theft takes place!
In the event your wallet is stolen, be sure to call the customer service number for each credit card to report the theft as soon as possible. Additionally, you may want to phone the three national credit bureaus to place a fraud alert on your name and the police to file a report. A call to the Social Security fraud hotline may not be a bad idea, either.
You can add the numbers for the credit bureaus and Social Security to your photocopied page:
Equifax -- (800) 685-1111
Experian -- (888) EXPERIAN (397-3742)
TransUnion -- (800) 916-8800
Social Security fraud -- (800) 269-0271
By ordering a free credit report, you can see if any unusual activity from the theft has been listed in your credit history.
Published: April 13, 2007
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