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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Bob Maar's Joke-A-Thon   » Helpful Hints (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Helpful Hints
Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 06-11-2003 10:49 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile]

A place to post helpful hints to make your life more enjoyable

This came from a friend (via the Friends of Petrie Island)they say it works!?

For your next camping trips, BBQ or just sitting outside...

Pass this on to anyone who likes sitting out in the evening or when they're having a cook out. So you don't like those pesky mosquitoes,especially now that they have the potential to carry the West-Nile Virus?

Here's a tip that was given at a recent gardening forum: Put some water in a white dinner plate and add a couple of drops of Lemon Fresh Joy dish detergent. Set the dish on your porch,patio
or other outdoor area.

I'm not sure what attracts them, the lemon smell, the white plate color or what,but mosquitoes flock to it,and drop dead shortly after drinking the Lemon Fresh Joy/water mixture, and usually within about 10 feet of the plate.

Check it out---it works just super! [Smile]

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Gordon Bachlund
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 672
From: Monrovia, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 1999

 - posted 10-17-2003 01:32 PM      Profile for Gordon Bachlund   Author's Homepage   Email Gordon Bachlund   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here's the exercise program I am using to stay in shape this year. You
might want to take it easy at first, then do it faster as you become
more proficient. It may be too strenuous for some.



That's enough for the first day!

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Gordon Bachlund
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 672
From: Monrovia, CA, USA
Registered: Aug 1999

 - posted 11-01-2003 04:52 PM      Profile for Gordon Bachlund   Author's Homepage   Email Gordon Bachlund   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Martha Stewart's Tips For Rednecks

1. Never take a beer to a job interview.

2. Always identify people in your yard before shooting at them.

3. It's considered tacky to take a cooler to church.

4. If you have to vacuum the bed, it is time to change the

5. Even if you're certain that you are included in the will, it
is still considered tacky to drive a U-Haul to the funeral home.


1. When decanting wine, make sure that you tilt the paper cup,
and pour slowly so as not to "bruise" the fruit of the vine.

2. If drinking directly from the bottle, always hold it with your
fingers covering the label.


1. A centerpiece for the table should never be anything prepared
by a taxidermist.

2. Do not allow the dog to eat from the matter how
good his manners are.


1. While ears need to be cleaned regularly, this is a job that
should be done in private using one's OWN truck keys.

2. Proper use of toiletries can forestall bathing for several
days. However, if you live alone, deodorant is a waste of good

3. Dirt and grease under the fingernails is a social no-no, as
they tend to detract from a woman's jewelry and alter the taste
of finger foods.

DATING (Outside the Family)

1. Always offer to bait your date's hook, especially on the first

2. Be aggressive. Let her know you're interested: "I've been
wanting to go out with you since I read that stuff on the
bathroom wall two years ago."

3. Establish with her parents what time she is expected back.
Some will say 10:00 PM; others might say "Monday." If the latter
is the answer, it is the man's responsibility to get her to
school on time.


1. Crying babies should be taken to the lobby and picked up
immediately after the movie has ended.

2. Refrain from talking to characters on the screen. Tests have
proven they can't hear you.


1. Livestock is usually a poor choice for a wedding gift.

2. Kissing the bride for more than 5 seconds may get you shot.

3. For the groom, at least, rent a tux. A leisure suit with a
cummerbund and clean bowling shirt can create a tacky appearance.

4. Though uncomfortable, say "yes" to socks and shoes for this
special occasion.


1. Dim your headlights for approaching vehicles, even if the gun
is loaded and the deer is in sight.

2. When approaching a four-way stop, the vehicle with the largest
tires always has the right of way.

3. Never tow another car using panty hose and duct tape.

4. When sending your wife down the road with a gas can, it is
impolite to ask her to bring back beer too.

5. Do not lay rubber while traveling in a funeral procession

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 11-21-2003 11:49 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile] Michele


+ Dye fabric brown inexpensively.Soak the fabric in a bucket of strong black coffee.This technique is also a good way to cover-up an irremovable coffee stain on a white table cloth.

+ Fertilize a garden or houseplants. Work coffee grounds into the topsoil.

+ Repair scratched woodwork.Mix a teaspoon instant coffee with twoteaspoons water.Apply to the scratch with a cotton ball.

+ Start a charcoal fire.Remove the top and bottom of an empty
coffee can and punch a few holes in the sides of the can. Stand
the can in your barbecue grill,fill it with charcoal briquettes, add lighter fluid,and light.When the coals glow, remove the hot can with tongs and set in a safe place.

+ Prevent dampness in closets.Fill an empty coffee can with
charcoal briquettes,punch holes in the plastic cover,and set on the floor in the back of the closet.

+ Repel ants.Sprinkle dried coffee grounds outside doors and
cracks.Coffee deters ants.

+ Relieve a hangover.Drink a couple of cups of coffee. Coffee
acts as a vasoconstrictor,reducing the swelling of blood vessels that causes headache.

+ Spread grass seed or fertilizer.Punch holes in the bottom of an empty can of coffee,fill with grass seed or fertilizer,cover
with the plastic lid,and shake the can as you walk through your garden.

+ Transport live fishing bait. Keep worms in a coffee can filled
with moist coffee grounds.

+ Keep toilet paper waterproof while camping. Carry a roll of
toilet paper inside an empty coffee can.

+ Protect baby tomato plants. Remove the top and bottom from
coffee cans, place a can over each plant, and step on the can to
set firmly in the soil. Remove cans when plants are a few weeks

+ Grow better melons.Raise melons off the ground by resting them on top of upside-down empty coffee cans pushed into the soil.The metal cans accumulate heat,making the fruit ripen earlier and
repelling insects.

+ Keep paintbrush bristles from bending while soaking in solvent.Put solvent in an empty coffee can,cut an X in the plastic lid, and push the brush handle up through the slit so the brush hangs in the can rather than resting on its bristles.

+ Highlight brown or red hair.Rinse your hair with coffee for a
rich and shiny color.

+ Deodorize the refrigerator and freezer.Place a bowl filled with coffee grounds on the back shelf.

+ Patch woodwork.Mix dry instant coffee with spackling paste
until you achieve the desired brown tone,fill the crack or hole,
and smooth with a damp cloth.

+ Clean a restaurant grill.Pour left-over brewed coffee over a
hot or cold grill and wipe clean.

+ Wrap cookies and candies.Cover an empty coffee can with
wrapping paper,fill with cookies or candy,cover with the plastic
lid, then wrap.

+ Cover spots on black suede.Sponge on a little black coffee.

+ Make emergency lights.Wrap reflector tape around a couple of
empty coffee cans and store in the trunk of your car for emergencies.

+ Make stilts...String rope through holes punched in the closed
ends of two empty coffee cans.

+ Store nails,screws,bolts,and washers coffee cans make perfect storage containers.

+ Improvise a Jell-O mold.Use an empty coffee can.

+ Store cat box filler in the trunk of your car for emergencies.
Cat box filler, stored in empty coffee cans, can be used for
traction under the wheels of a car stuck in snow or ice.

+ Flavor spaghetti. Add one-quarter to one-half teaspoon of
instant coffee to spaghetti sauce. Coffee gives store bought
spaghetti sauce brown coloring and a less acidic flavor.

+ Some folks add a sprinkle of coffee as a secret CHILI
ingredient (as well as a dash of cinnamon).Guess it's no longer
a secret.Chili-weather is fast approaching. [Big Grin]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 03-05-2004 07:09 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G PSA From "A Friend"

Please take the time to read this. I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some, where you will go "hmm I must remember that".

After reading this, forward it to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we livein.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2.Learned this from a tourist guide toNew Orleans.If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse,DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you.... chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet/purse.RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy.The driver won't see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping,
eating,working,etc.,and just sit (doing their checkbook,or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS! The predator will be watching you,and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side,put a gun to your head,and tell you where to go.AS SOON AS YOU GET INTO YOUR CAR,LOCK THE DOORS AND LEAVE.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot,or parking garage:

A.) Be aware:look around you,look into your car,at the passenger side floor,and in the back seat.

B.) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are
attempting to get into their cars.

C.) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.IT IS
(And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs.(Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!

|8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point Fwd: Crying Baby Someone just told me  that  her friend heard a crying baby on her porch thenight before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door."

The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawlto the street and get run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by  women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night. Please pass this on! and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby. This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer  in Louisiana.

I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys,if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc.,you may want to pass it onto them, as well. Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it's better safe than sorry.

Friends are angels who lift us up when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

[ 11-01-2005, 09:07 PM: Message edited by: Bob Maar ]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 03-12-2004 06:44 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile] Michele

Save on booze by drinking cold tea instead of whiskey.

The following morning you can create the effects of hangover by
drinking a thimble full of dish washing liquid and banging your
head repeatedly on the wall. [Big Grin]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 03-18-2004 11:13 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile] Tiggy

What You Can Do With Vodka

1. To remove a bandage painlessly,saturate the bandage with
vodka.The solvent dissolves the adhesive.

2. To clean the caulking around bathtubs and showers,fill a
trigger-spray bottle with vodka,spray the caulking,let set five minutes and wash clean.The alcohol in the vodka kills mold and

3. To clean your eyeglasses, simply wipe the lenses with a soft,
clean cloth dampened with vodka. The alcohol in the vodka cleans
the glass and kills germs.

4. Prolong the life of razors by filling a cup with vodka and
letting your safety razor blade soak in the alcohol after
shaving. The vodka disinfects the blade and prevents rusting.

5. Spray vodka on vomit stains,scrub with a brush,then blot dry.

6. Using a cotton ball,apply vodka to your face as an astringent to cleanse the skin and tighten pores.

7. Add a jigger of vodka to a 12-ounce bottle of shampoo.The
alcohol cleanses the scalp,removes toxins from hair, and
stimulates the growth of healthy hair.

8. Fill a sixteen-ounce trigger-spray bottle with vodka and spray bees or wasps to kill them.

9. Pour one-half cup vodka and one-half cup water in a Ziplock
freezer bag, and freeze for a slushy, refreezable ice pack for
aches, pain, or black eyes.

10. Fill a clean, used mayonnaise jar with freshly packed
lavender flowers, fill the jar with vodka, seal the lid tightly
and set in the sun for three days. Strain liquid through a coffee filter,then apply the tincture to aches and pains.

11. Make your own mouthwash by mixing nine tablespoons powered
cinnamon with one cup vodka. Seal in an airtight container for
two weeks. Strain through a coffee filter. Mix with warm water
and rinse your mouth. Don't swallow.

12. Using a q-tip, apply vodka to a cold sore to help it dry out.

13. If a blister opens, pour vodka over the raw skin as a local
anesthetic that also disinfects the exposed dermis.

14. To treat dandruff, mix one cup vodka with two teaspoons
crushed rosemary, let sit for two days, strain through a coffee
filter and massage into your scalp and let dry.

15. To treat an earache put a few drops of vodka in your ear. Let set for a few minutes.Then drain. The vodka will kill the
bacteria that is causing pain in your ear.

16.. To relieve a fever, use a washcloth to rub vodka on your
chest and back as a liniment.

17. To cure foot odor, wash your feet with vodka.

18. Vodka will disinfect and alleviate a jellyfish sting.

19. To remove cigarette smoke in your home or office mix one part vodka and three parts water and spray the clothing, then launder and let dry.

20. Pour vodka over an area affected with poison ivy to remove
the urushiol oil from your skin.

21. Swish a shot of vodka over an aching tooth. Allow your gums
to absorb some of the alcohol to numb the pain.

After reading this, can you believe that some people drink the

I say...Stick with Gin. [Smile]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 04-19-2004 11:36 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile]

If garbage workers in your community ever go out on strike, you might like to know how a wise New Yorker disposed of his refuse for several days when sanitation workers were on strike.

Each day he wrapped his garbage in gift paper. Then he put it in a shopping bag. When he parked his car, he left the bag on the front seat with the window open. When he got back to the car, the garbage had always been collected. [Big Grin]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 04-19-2004 12:10 PM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile] Lorraine

"If a doctor treats your cold, it will go away in fourteen days. If you leave it alone, it will go away in two weeks." [Big Grin]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 05-30-2004 08:43 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile]

If you use your microwave to boil water, read this:

A 26-year old man decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he had done numerous times before).

I am not sure how long he set the timer for,but he wanted to bring the water to a boil.When the timer shut the oven off, he removed thecup from the oven.As he looked into the cup, he noted that the water was not boiling,but suddenly the water in the cup "blew up" into his face.

The cup remained intact until he threw it out of his hand,but all the water had flown out into his face due to the build up of energy.His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face which may leave scarring.He also may have lost partial sight in his left eye.

While at the hospital,the doctor who was attending to him stated that this is a fairly common occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave oven.

If water is heated in this manner,something should be placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick,tea bag, etc.,(nothing metal).It is however a much safer choice to boil the water in a tea kettle.


Thanks for contacting us,I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that you received is correct.Microwaved water and other liquids do not always bubble when they reach the boiling point.They can actually get superheated and not bubble at all.The superheated liquid will bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a spoon or tea bag is put into it.

To prevent this from happening and causing injury,do not heat any liquid for more than two minutes per cup.After heating,let the cup stand in the microwave for thirty seconds before moving it or adding anything into it.

Here is what our local science teacher had to say on the matter:
"Thanks for the microwave warning.I have seen this happen before.It is caused by a phenomenon known as super heating.It can occur anytime water isheated and will particularly occur if the vessel that the water is heated in is new,or when heating a small amount of water (less than half a cup).What happens is that the water heats faster than the vapor bubbles can form.If the cup is very new then it is unlikely to have small surface scratches inside it that provide a place for the bubbles to form.As the bubbles cannot form and release some of the heat that has built up!,the liquid does not boil,and the liquid continues to heat up well past its boiling point.What then usually happens is that the liquid is bumped or jarred, which is just enough of a shock to cause the bubbles to rapidly form and expel the hot liquid.The rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews when opened after having been shaken."

If you pass this on ... you could very well save someone from a lot of pain and suffering

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 05-31-2004 12:57 PM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile] Faye in Kingston,Ont. CA


Be aware of new car-jacking scheme.(This could also be used as a ploy for kidnapping)

Imagine:You walk across the parking lot, unlock your car and get inside;you lock your doors,start the engine and shift into REVERSE;you look into the rear-view mirror to back out of your parking space and notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window.So,you shift into PARK,unlock your doors and jump out of your car to remove that paper(or whatever it is) that is obstructing your view.

When you reach the back of your car,that is when the car jackers appear out of nowhere,jump into your car and take off!!Your engine was running,(ladies would have their purse in the car)and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.


JUST DRIVE AWAY AND REMOVE THE PAPER LATER.(and be thankful that you read this email!)

I hope you will forward this to friends and family especially to women! A purse contains all identification,and you certainly do NOT want someone getting your home address.They already HAVE your keys!!!!!

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17687
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 06-01-2004 06:15 AM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G

Stop neighborhood dogs from ripping your trash bags apart

I used to have a big problem with this and one night decided to try something a little different. Once you have your trash bags at the street corner ready for pickup the next morning, spray some Raid on the bags. Even if you have fresh food in there, the dogs will ignore your bags and attack everyone else's. No more trash all over the lawn!

I have done this for a couple of years now with 100% success. [thumbsup]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 09-09-2004 12:50 PM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile]

A Helpful Hint

When boating, always wear a swimsuit with suspenders. This makes it easier on the guys with the grappling hook when they're trying to retrieve your body. [Big Grin]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 11-04-2004 09:29 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile]

Handy cleaning tips:

Layers of dirty film on windows and screens provide a helpful filter against harmful and aging rays from the sun.Call it an SPF factor of 15 and leave it alone.

Cobwebs: Artfully draped over lampshades reduce the glare from the bulb,thereby creating a romantic atmosphere.If someone points out that the light fixtures need dusting,simply look confused and exclaim, "What? And spoil the mood?" (Or just throw glitter on them and call them holiday decorations.)

Pet Hair: Explain the mound of pet hair brushed up against the
doorways by claiming you are collecting it there to use for stuffing hand-sewn play animals for underprivileged children.(Also keeps out cold drafts in winter.)

Guests: If unexpected company is coming, pile everything unsightly into one room and close the door. As you show your guests through your tidy home,rattle the door knob vigorously,fake a growl and say,"I'd love you to see our den,but Fluffy hates to be disturbed and the shots are SO expensive."

Dusting: If dusting is REALLY out of control, simply place a showy urn on the coffee table and insist that,"This is where Grandma wanted us to scatter her ashes."

General Cleaning: Mix one-quarter cup pine-scented household cleaner with four cups of water in a spray bottle. Mist the air lightly.Leave dampened rags in conspicuous locations.Develop an exhausted look,throw yourself on the couch and sigh,"I clean and I clean and I still don't get anywhere."

As a last resort: Light the oven, throw a teaspoon of cinnamon in a pie pan and explain that you have been baking cookies for a bake sale for a favorite charity and haven't had time to clean... Works every time.

Another favorite: ( I think from Erma Bombeck) Always keep several get well cards on the mantle so if unexpected guests arrive, you can say you've been sick and unable to clean. [Big Grin]

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Bob Maar
(Maar stands for Maartini)

Posts: 28608
From: New York City & Newport, RI
Registered: Feb 2001

 - posted 01-20-2005 11:08 AM      Profile for Bob Maar   Author's Homepage   Email Bob Maar   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Rated G [Smile]


Read this and make a copy for your files in case you need to refer to it someday. Maybe we should all take some of his advice!

A corporate attorney sent the following out to the employees in his company.

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. 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 won't have access to it.

3. Put your work phone # on your checks instead of your home phone. 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.(DUH!) You can add it if it is necessary. But if you have it printed,anyone can get it.

4. 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. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when I travel either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number,credit cards. Unfortunately, I, an attorney, have firsthand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. 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 my driving record information online, and more.

But here's 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.But 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).

But here's what is perhaps most important of all :(I never even thought to do this.)

3.Call the 3 national credit reporting organizations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number.I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. 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 By the time I was advised to do this,almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases,none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then,no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away.This weekend (someone turned it in). It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are the numbers you always need to contact about your wallet,etc has been stolen:

1.) Equifax: 1-800-525-6285

2.) Experian (formerly TRW): 1-888-397-3742

3.) Trans Union: 1-800-680-7289

4.) Social Security Administration (fraud line):1-800-269-0271

We pass along jokes on the Internet; we pass along just about everything. But if you are willing to pass this information along, it could really help someone that you care about. [Smile]

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