May, 2004

Argus Search, Inc.  Commentary:


Our Argus newsletter is an on-going service designed to continue to educate our business community to combat the threats of negligent hiring, workplace violence, and other human resource issues that arise in our business world today.  It is also designed to inform the public of issues and concerns that may impact day-to-day life. 


****Last month we discussed Social Security fraud.  Many of you were surprised to see other names listed under your Social Security Number, and others were very relieved only one name was listed, Yours!!!!

Now, let’s talk about securing your credit information…


What Is Happening With Your Credit?

Every year request a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus.                      800-525-6285                    888-397-3742                  800-680-7289


Here’s An Example: An attorney recently had his wallet stolen.  What happened?  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 his driving record information online, and more…….

So, What if Your Credit Card is Stolen?

  • Cancel your Credit cards immediately.  Make sure you have all the toll free numbers needed.
  • File a police report in the jurisdiction where the incident happened.
  • Call the three Credit Reporting Organizations to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number, as this will prevent someone from trying to apply for credit over the Internet. They can put a 90-day or 7-year Fraud Alert on your credit should you have any concerns.
  • Having this alert on your credit means the company that checks credit has to contact you by phone to authorize new credit.

What happened to the attorney?  It took him close to 2 weeks to do the detail outlined above.  Once complete, there was no additional activity on his credit and shortly thereafter his wallet was found; it was no longer of use to the thieves. 

Protect Your Credit:

  • Place passwords on your credit card, bank, and phone accounts
  • Secure personal information in your home.
  • When ordering checks, have only your initials (instead of first name) and last name on them. 
  • Put your work phone # on your checks.  Use a P.O. Box instead of your home address.
  • Photocopy contents in your wallet, including your driver’s license and credit cards (both sides); this way you know exactly what was in your wallet.  Keep information in a safe place


In Case You Were Wondering……


Identity Theft Penalties:

In most cases, a conviction for identity theft carries a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment, a fine, and forfeiture of any personal property used, or intended to be used, to commit the crime.  Schemes to commit identity theft or fraud also may involve violations of other statutes.  Credit Card, Computer, Mail, Wire, Financial Institution, or Social Security fraud are a Federal offense and carry substantial penalties — in some cases, as high as 30 years in prison, as well as fines and criminal forfeiture.


We hope the information we provide is helpful and worth reading.  Here’s to your safe credit!!!



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Argus Search, Inc. sends newsletters to our clients and others with connections we’ve met over the years that are affiliated with BOMA, ASIS, International Trade Shows, Chambers of Commerce, Restaurant Associations, Retail Associations, Staffing Associations, business associates, and friends, who have also expressed interest an in receiving this information. 



Copyright © 2004  Argus Search, Inc., 18303 E. Corbin Place, Spokane, WA 99212.  All rights reserved.