It has been all over the news lately and these news stories are enough to get everyone thinking about protecting their own identity. Because if Mickey Mouse can get his identity stolen, than who knows if any of us are safe.
According a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, police in Bellevue, Washington found a fake identification card bearing a picture and personal information of everyone’s favorite mouse - Mickey Mouse. The Washington state ID listed his name as Mick E. Mouse, who is 5-foot-2 in height and weighing 110 pounds. Mr. Mouse’s birthday was listed as Nov. 18, 1928 and even though he was claiming to be a Washington state resident, his address was listed as Anaheim, California.
A press release from the City of Bellevue dated July 10, 2014 stated that along with the ID card, officers found 67 fraudulent credit cards, seven fake Social Security cards and hundreds of forged checks. These items were found in a home that is believed to be allegedly serving as a home base to a large fraud operation.
Even though it appears as if the criminals were just trying to have a little fun with the Mickey Mouse ID card, it does serve as a reminder of how important it is to protect ones identity, especially when traveling. Here are some tips from the Better Business Bureau to help your protect your identity when visiting Walt Disney World.
- Do not let yourself get distracted by the excitement of Disney
- Put walled wallets and travel documents in a secure location
- Carry your wallet in an inside coat pocket or under your clothes
- Leave checkbooks at home, unless you plan to using checks while on vacation
- Remove any unnecessary documents and cards from your wallet, such as library cards and other items that have personal information listed on them
- Do not announce travel plans on social media networking sites (so identification documents are not stolen from your home)
- Place a credit freeze on cards you will not be using
- Set up a travel alert for the credit cards you will be using
- If bringing your computer with, update the anti-virus programs to ensure the safety of the data
- Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to access financial accounts
- Only use bank ATMs - Most Disney ATMs are operated by Chase
- Set a password for your phone
- Do not put your full name and address on your luggage - only use last name and phone number
- Tear up or shred all travel documents before disposing of them
- Do not use your credit card at gas station pumps that look like the reader has been altered
Remember, to always keep an eye open and be aware of your surroundings. Doing so will help reduce your chances of having your identity stolen while on vacation at Disney World.