One of the best parts about summertime is being able to get away and go on a nice, relaxing vacation. We're here today to help keep that vacation relaxing by giving you some tips on how to avoid identity theft while you're away!
Only put last name and phone number on luggage tags. Avoid putting first names or addresses on luggage tags. If this gets into the wrong hands, that is a lot of information!
Don't share your vacation plans on social media. Thieves can monitor sites like Facebook to see when you'll be away from your home. In addition, consider waiting to post pictures from your vacation until after you are back home.
Don't make it obvious that you aren't home. It's a great idea to pause your mail and newspaper deliveries. A full mailbox or porch covered in week old newspapers is a tell-tale sign that no one is home and this leaves your home and belongings vulnerable.
Let your credit card companies know. You should alert your credit card companies to where, when and how long you will be on vacation. Doing this will help fraud departments stop any bogus charges before they get out of hand and will also reduce the risk of your card being declined to to any "unusual activity"!
Weed out your wallet. This one might sound a little bit like overkill, but any cards that you won't be needing on vacation (shopping cards, extra credit cards, Costco membership card, library card) that contains any personal information should be left at home, preferably locked in a safe.
Use one credit card. It will be much easier for you to monitor the activity of only one credit card. You should use the one with the lowest limit (just in case anyone does get ahold of your information). It is also a good idea to book flights with a credit card instead of an ATM or debit card. This is because credit card companies are more prepared to deal with identity fraud.
Be cautious on public Wi-Fi. Free Wi-Fi is great, but it is important to understand the vulnerable position that using free Wi-Fi puts you in. Avoid checking bank balances or inputing any credit card information when on free networks as thieves could be monitoring activity on that network.
Watch out for fake front desk phone calls. If anyone calls you claiming to be from the “front desk” and needs to verify your credit card number, don’t think that you have to give that information immediately. You should say you’ll call back, and hang up. Then you can call the front desk your hotel and ask the staff if they really need this information. If not, you may have just avoided an identity theft attempt.