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How To Avoid Identity Theft While Traveling
If you’re preparing to take a vacation, I’m sure you’ve thought about your safety. You’ve possibly even felt nervous about being mugged or losing your most precious possessions. Am I right? It’s quite common for credit cards, passport, and drivers’ licenses to get stolen.
I’ve heard so many horror stories about people’s identities getting stolen during their travel that it’s taking up a huge amount of my energy and mental bandwidth as I fretted about the thoughts.
Although you have a right to be concerned about these issues, once you discover how to avoid this situation and be proactive about the steps to take to avoid identity theft before, during, and after your travel, you’ll see that you can have the time of your life on your vacation.
Use these tips to protect yourself from identity theft during your travels:
Before You Travel:
- Go through your wallet and remove things that you won’t need on your trip. Your social security card, credit cards (except for the one or two major cards you’ll use on the vacation), and any listings of website passwords should be left at home in a safe location.
- Also, call the credit card company for the card you’ll be taking with you to inform them of your travel plans and dates. Take copies of your passport and identification to store separately in your luggage, just in case.
- Avoid posting on your social media site when you’ll be leaving and returning as this is simply a cue for when it’s safe for thieves to enter your home.
- If you don’t have a trusted close friend, relative, or neighbor to promptly remove your daily mail, go to your local post office and complete a card giving permission for your mail to be temporarily held at the post office.
During the Trip:
- Avoid responding back online to possible phishing efforts to get your banking info. Instead, have your banking institutions’ phone numbers in your smartphone where you could access them to call and inquire about any concerns regarding your accounts.
- Refrain from checking bank accounts on hotel computers to prevent the theft of delicate information.
- Keep your original identification and credit cards with you at all times. Consider using a small zippered travel pouch on a belt that can be worn underneath your clothing while you travel.
- Store the copies you brought in your luggage, separately from the originals. Place the copies in the luggage lining or with dirty clothes where they would not likely be discovered by others. Better yet, keep them locked away in the hotel safe.
When You Arrive Home:
- Feel free to access one of the free online credit-check websites to check your credit report to ensure that your credit is intact and has not been tampered with during your vacation.
You can enjoy your upcoming trip and know that your money and identity will be safe by following these suggestions before, during, and after you return from your trip. Bon voyage!