A little list-making today will save you major headaches in the event of identity theft. Keep these in your bank box and/or home safe.
- Record a list of all your account numbers and corresponding phone numbers. Include credit cards, checking and savings accounts, insurance policies, and investments. Also list other important contacts’ phone numbers: lawyer, financial planner/broker, insurance agent, accountant, executor of will, etc. In the event of an emergency, you won’t waste time looking up phone numbers.
- Make a copy of everything in your wallet. Include driver’s license, credit and debit cards, library card, ATM card, membership cards, and medical insurance cards. Line up cards on a copier or scanner, copy, and then turn over the cards and do the back sides. Store in a safe place that you can access quickly, such as your home safe or a file folder at home labeled “emergency.” If your wallet is stolen, you won’t waste time trying to remember what was in your wallet. You’ll be able to call the customer service numbers on the back of the cards to cancel and replace them quickly.
- Record a photo inventory of your home and its contents. In a notebook, write descriptions of room contents next to each photo. Should you have a fire or theft, your insurance claims can be processed quickly and smoothly. Or videotape your entire house. Update this inventory yearly, including appraisals (if necessary), and keep receipts of big-ticket items, such as electronics, collectibles, etc. Also, regularly check to be sure your homeowner’s insurance reflects the current value of your home and contents.
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