Going somewhere this summer? One of the times that you are most at risk for getting your identity stolen is when you’re away from home – here are some tips to use when you are going on a trip so that you can prevent that from becoming a bigger issue!
- Use cash, not cards. Or traveler’s checks, they aren’t bad either. But try not to use any cards unless you have to.
- Contact your credit card company before you leave. Let them know that you’re leaving, not only so they don’t freeze your card because of “suspicious activity,” but so that they can also watch for suspicious activity outside of the area you are traveling to.
- Keep cards and all identifying information in a carry on. If you’re flying, do not put your credit cards, ATM cards, or any other identifying items in your luggage. If your items get lost or stolen, all of a sudden your identity is too.
- Leave the checkbook at home. They have so much identifying information (including your address and phone number) that if it gets lost, forgotten, or stolen, you’re going to have to make a lot of phone calls to try and save your identity.
- Have someone get your mail or put it on hold. If you’re going to be gone for an extended period of time, have a friend come and take care of everything for you, including getting your mail.
- Don’t use ATM’s. Some ATM’s are very low security, especially those found in souvenir shops and convenience stores (unless they’re part of a chain). As a general rule, don’t use an ATM while you’re away unless you absolutely have to.
- When you get home, check all of your accounts. If you have access to your account via the web, check all of your accounts when you get back.