Follow these tips to minimize your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft!
Before your trip…plan ahead
Make copies of the front & back of your credit/debit card(s), driver’s license, insurance and other important cards.
Back up your phone, save information on a flash drive; place both backup items in a sealed envelope; leave it with someone you trust to be opened if you need to make appropriate calls following a theft.
Limit your cards. Carry only what you need on a daily basis.
Don’t write down PINS or passwords; they should not be found on the back of your credit or debit cards, or on pieces of paper kept in your wallet.
Never carry your Social Security card in your wallet unless absolutely necessary.
Your Wallet/Purse has been Stolen…Now What?
Make the call as soon as you realize your wallet/purse is missing. Contact the person you left the sealed envelope with, have them fax or scan & email you the list.
Notify all parties from your list to inform them of the situation.
Even if your wallet is returned, you can’t know that someone hasn’t written down your card numbers to use later on.
File a police report & keep a copy. If identity theft does result from a lost or stolen wallet, a police report filed at the time of theft will establish credibility.
Place a fraud alert with the three national credit bureaus:
- Experian, 1-888-391-3142, http://www.experian.com
- Equifax 1-811-516-5134, http://www.equifax.com
- TransUnion, 1-800-680-1289, http://www.transunion.com
Watch your account and credit reports. Check for signs of identity theft, look for purchases, transactions, or services you didn’t authorize. If you suspect fraud, call immediately.
Shopping on Your Trip
Be mobile, careful, be wary of shoulder surfers. If doing online banking, make sure the app logs you out after each use or allows you to manually log out.
Using public wi-fi is very dangerous, be extremely careful about conducting personal business when doing so.
Wait until asked before taking out your debit or credit card, someone may be surfing to get information.
To deter pickpocketing, carry your wallet in a front pocket or hve your purse in front, not hanging to your side.