Road trip season is upon us, and it’s prime time for thieves to be on the loose as well. According to claim data from the folks at Travelers Insurance, 44-percent of ID fraud cases happen when a purse or wallet has been lost or stolen. Here are some tips for travelers to protect themselves from identity theft.
Watch your wallet and purse – many people store personal information in their purses and wallets, which makes it easier for thieves to commit identity fraud. Secure your identity by keeping your purse and wallet in a safe place and carrying only essentials when you go out. Leave any credit cards you will not be using on the trip in a secure place at home. Unless absolutely necessary, avoid carrying Social Security cards, birth certificates or passports, which contain key pieces of personal information thieves could use to steal your identity.
Keep a careful eye on your credit – according to Travelers’ data, nearly half of ID fraud cases are committed using the victim's current accounts. Review your credit report and bank statements regularly to monitor your accounts, and take these extra precautions:
· Make a list of all your credit card and bank account information, and store the list in a secure place, such as on a password protected flash drive or in a fire-proof safe. Include account numbers, expiration dates, credit limits and phone numbers or emails of the customer service and fraud departments. If your card is missing or stolen, you will then be able to quickly notify your credit card provider to prevent fraudulent charges.
· Review your credit report and notify the credit bureaus of any mistakes. The government gives consumers the right to receive one free copy of their credit report every 12 months from each of the three main credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). Order one report from a different bureau every four months to see credit activity throughout the year.
Learn about other ways to stay safe when traveling next week, and find more information at www.travelers.com.
Information in this piece provided by Travelers.
Check out all of Paula’s Buffalo Examiner columns:
Follow Paula on:
· Facebook – Paula Thompson Freelance
· Twitter - @paulat14
· Website – paulathompsonfreelance.com
· Flickr – PaulaThompsonFreelance
Contact Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org