Sophia Antipolis - Identity theft
If you see that something is wrong with your credit card account, you should file an official complaint at the
police station (gendarmerie), you have to send this document to
your insurance company which will issue, having ascertained the fraud,
a reimbursement in a short time. It is quite common to see this
kind of fraude on the French Riviera. So be careful when you pay by
credit card in a restaurant or when you enter your personal pin
code at the ATM. Cover the keyboard with one hand.
Precautions to avoid identity theft
Do not show anybody important personal information
(such as your bank account numbers, credit card numbers, pin codes or
personal identity number, date of birth, insurance policy numbers,
passport number etc) unless absolutely necessary (such as filling in
tax forms, opening bank accounts, applying for benefits, employment
Do not carry your passport, birth certificate or
extra credit cards with you except when necessary. Make sure you keep
your passport in a safe place.
Keep a copy of all valuable personal documentation
in a safe place. Also, make a copy of everything you keep in your
wallet (such as driver license, credit cards, etc.)
Put a lock on your mailbox and do not let the mail stay in your box for too long.
Have your name removed from marketing lists and
arrange to stop advertising material being sent to your mailbox (ask at
the post office).
Never leave behind receipts, especially those from cash points (ATMs), petrol stations and other credit card payments and most important, do not throw them in public litter bins.
Bank Accounts and Credit Cards
Make sure you keep track of the information on your bank statements and all activities on your
accounts. Check with your bank/finance institution immediately if you suspect irregularities.
Do not keep your pin codes in your wallet. If your
wallet is stolen, cancel your credit cards immediately. File a police
report in the jurisdiction where it was stolen, this proves to credit
providers you were diligent, and is a first step toward an
Register all your credit cards with a card
protection plan. With your credit card contract, you should have an
insurance that covers fraudulent money withdrawals. Most credit-card
companies have an emergency number you can call if your card is lost or
stolen. The service may include wiring you a cash advance or providing
you with a replacement card.
Nowadays you can link all your accounts together,
and if you and your partner have separate accounts you may be able to
arrange with your bank to have your partner's credit limit lifted if
your cards are stolen.
Ask your bank, credit card company, telephone
company and utility companies to place passwords or extra security
protection on your accounts.
Create unpredictable pin codes and passwords and change them regularly. Do not give your pin number to anyone.
It is NOT wise to send your credit card information via email as that is not a secure source.
Update your virus protection regularly, as viruses
can steal files with personal information that you may keep in your
Do not download files from people you do not know.
Install filters and a fire wall programme on your
PC, especially if you have a high speed connection (DSL), to protect
Do not store personal financial information on your computer and use a low limit credit card for online transactions.