Keeping your identity safe when you hit the road
Summer vacation time at last! Unfortunately, identity thieves may use your time away to target you for identity theft. If you're packing up & heading out, take a minute to read our ID theft travel protection tips.
We also want to highlight some resources for our active duty military personnel, who may also be at special risk while they are overseas.
Finally, with hurricane season now underway, you might also find yourself leaving home in a hurry. Check out our tips for keeping your identity safe in a natural disaster.
Daniel J. Benish
CORE ID Services, LLC
Identity theft tips for travelers
You wouldn't leave home without locking doors, putting lights on timers, and maybe setting an alarm. Take these precautions to help keep your identity safe while you travel, too.
Use credit cards - Leave ATM/debit cards and checkbooks in a secure location at home.
Avoid "shoulder surfing" - While it's tempting to catch up on paying bills and other online tasks during travel delays, you risk exposing your password and other sensitive info to prying eyes.
Put holds on mail, newsletter and other automatic delivery. A full mailbox indicates an empty house, and bills or checks in your mailbox will expose you to ID thieves.
Keep backups of ID, travel documents and other important info in case of lost or stolen wallets. ARX-ID's document replacement service is just a call away if you lose these items on the road.
Limit your exposure - Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet, and leave any other non-essential documents at home.
Lock up valuables & passports in your hotel safe while you are out.
While we are in hurricane season now, natural disasters can strike at any time. Whether you have to leave your house in a hurry; have your possessions exposed or damaged; or just want to donate to a relief fund, ID thieves use these situations to prey on people when they are most vulnerable. A few minutes preparing for a natural disaster can save you from an identity theft disaster, too.
Make copies of the following documents and leave one set in a secure, offsite location like a safe deposit box, and keep another set ready to evacuate with you (an encrypted USB drive works well for this).
If you would like to donate to a charity
Birth certificates for each family member
A current photograph of each family member
Social Security cards for each family member
Insurance papers, wills, deeds, property records, and photos or video of personal belongings
Other vital papers for each family member, such as immigration papers, marriage licenses
Financial account information that might be needed in an emergency
Brief medical histories including medical equipment/supply need including style/serial numbers, all prescriptions and dosages for each family member. Also, have a copy of medical insurance cards.
that provides relief to storm victims, check it out first with the Better Business Bureau at http://www.bbb.org/us/charity/
, or visit the FTC's tip page
for more guidelines. Likewise, if you are seeking relief, only rely on known, reputable organizations like the Red Cross or FEMA.