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Shams and Scams - Preventive Steps!

Entrepreneurs - Making Things Easier

In Our Corner

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Newsletter March 2009

Dear Tammy,

With everything that is happening in the economy and striving to manage a budget, the last thing you need is to become a victim of a scam or fraud. The crooks are out there waiting to take advantage of every opportunity; take action to prevent becoming another statistic.

There are ways to protect yourself with your credit cards and bank accounts. You can be confident knowing you have taken precautions to prevent harm and wreaking havoc with your identity.

In light of this news, we also have great information for the entrepreneur and small business owner. Read on about a special deal happening now until "Tax Day", April 15. Don't miss out!

Identify Theft and Fraud

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 will not have access to it.

4. Do not put phone numbers on your checks. 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 SS# printed on your checks.

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. Also carry a photocopy of your passport when traveling either here or abroad. We have all heard horror stories about fraud that is committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.

6. When you check out of a hotel that uses cards for keys (and they all seem to do that now), do not turn the "keys" in. Take them with you and destroy them by placing a magnet on them. This will erase any assocation with you as the holder of the key. Those little cards have all of the information you gave the hotel, including address and credit card numbers and expiration dates. Someone with a card reader, or employee of the hotel, can access all that information with no problem whatsoever.

Here is 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. 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). However, here is what is perhaps most important of all

3. Call the three national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. 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.

Here are the numbers to contact about your wallet and contents being stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285
2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742
3.) TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289
4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line): 1-800-269-0271
5.) Police Department (obtain local number of where item was stolen).

Wherever you stand in your business affairs, there is always room for improvement. We are here to offer our services in the areas that you may find difficult to begin or if you just need some help in getting through to the next step!

Your bookkeeping doesn't have to wear you out. You can register for one of our QuickBooks® workshops so you will know exactly where you stand financially at all times.

Give us a call today at 408.297.1152.


Tammy Foley


Bookkeeping Services & We Train U-2

Save $50

When you register for our first three workshops, you will save $50 on our bundled deal. Share this offer with other associates and friends. Check out our website at www.WeTrainU2.com.

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