Thursday, March 10, 2016

Avoid Traveling with Identity Theft Thieves

Have you been planning a dream vacation for some time now? If you have, stop for a minute and imagine how having your identity stolen could change all that in just a few minutes. Unfortunately, many consumers have had to deal with just that scenario. Even if a trip wasn’t planned, having one’s identity stolen can cause both financial and personal headaches that sometimes can be difficult to recover from.
Be Pro-Active and Not Reactive
In order to fend off identity theft thieves, there are a number of pro-active steps consumers can take, including finding the best in identity theft protection companies.

Such a company can provide consumers with a rating system of the top identity theft protection services on the market. Part of the reviews will focus on customer feedback, allowing them to voice their pleasure or displeasure with providers. As a result, individuals and families do not have to spend all that time comparing I.D. theft protection providers, leaving that job to the experts.

Whether you want to plan a special trip or look to create your own tropical paradise, it is important that you know your identity is protected and your finances are not going to be stolen by those who could cause quite a bit of pain in your life.

Ways to go about this include:
1. Monitor the numbers – Even though you would think most consumers regularly monitor their bank accounts and other such financial vehicles, the truth is that is not the case. In order to decrease the odds of becoming an identity theft victim, look for any unusual transactions credited to your different accounts. Many I.D. theft criminals work under the thinking that you won’t monitor your bank, credit card, IRA, 401K and other such accounts regularly, giving them the perfect opportunity to strike. Lessen such chances by doing regular online and paper statement (if you receive these) monitoring. If the numbers do not add up, act accordingly;

2. Your eyes only – How many times have you gone to a store, gas station or restaurant and signed-off on a credit card purchase, only to leave the receipt behind or even misplaced your card temporarily. Unfortunately, this happens more often than you might think. Worse yet, many thieves are using skimmers to swipe your data literally from right in front of your eyes. It just takes literally a minute or two and thieves have your information in the palms of their hands. Be cognizant of removing all your receipts after a purchase, then shredding them (see more below) when you no longer need them. If you do temporarily misplace your credit card, ask the issuing provider to send you a new one with a different account number on it;

3. Remove the evidence – For many people, living on credit and debit cards has become a way of life. Even though it is always best to use cash for purchases at the store, gas station, restaurants and even trips if possible, some purchases without actual money are all but impossible. Whenever there is a paper trail to what you acquired, make sure you remove that trail as soon as possible. Don’t just throw receipts, letters from account providers with your personal information on it etc. in the trash without shredding them. All too often, identity theft thieves and those working for them will easily obtain your information if you’ve not properly destroyed it. You should also avoid using public computers (libraries, hotels etc.) where you do not know if the dedicated server is properly protected against hackers. If going on a trip, try and do any tasks involving your finances on your secured computer at home, thereby lessening the chances that hackers can access the sensitive data. Finally, the same holds true if you travel for work and use a laptop. Make sure any personal or company financial data you are handling and/or discussing with clients is done over a secure computer connection.

Identity theft thieves can become quite rich (before eventually being caught), so avoid ending up being one of their victims. When you practice safe and smart measures in handling your finances, you keep identity theft thieves at bay, leaving you and your family all the better for it.