Prevent Identity Theft When Traveling
Important tips to consider
Whether you're planning your trip to Las Vegas or Venice, including a few financial arrangements in your preparations will help you prevent identity theft when traveling:
Guard against mix-ups.
Call your credit card issuers to notify them before you leave on a vacation, especially if you are traveling outside the US. If your banks and card issuers know that you are traveling, they are less likely to put a credit fraud alert on your account or mistakenly block your access to the account when charges from unusual locations appear.
Make photocopies of important documents.
Having copies of your credit cards, driver's licenses and passports will make the replacement process much faster if you lose something important while traveling. Add a list of emergency contacts to this folder including the phone numbers of your doctor, banks and family members. Leave a set of these documents at home with a friend and store one in a separate piece of luggage.
Avoid late payments.
Plan ahead so you won't miss any bill payments while you are away. Online bill payment systems now make it easy to schedule a payment in advance. Look for a web site address at the bottom of your monthly statements. A little preparation will help you avoid expensive late charges and unnecessary damage to your credit report.
Set a limit on your credit usage.
Make a budget before you go. If you are going to a country where it will be hard to access ATM machines, take travelers checks with you in case you can't get to your cash. Keeping a record of your expenses and cash withdrawals can help you keep your spending under control while on vacation. Debt problems are not a fun souvenir to bring home from your vacation.
Keep an eye on your identity.
While you're booking hotels online, using your credit card in unknown places and letting the mail pile up at home, identity thieves have more opportunities to get a peek at your private information. Prevent identity theft when traveling by asking the Post Office to put a vacation hold on your mail and by being careful where you use your credit card. Check the activity on your financial statements and your credit reports from all three credit reporting companies closely when you return to make sure you haven’t become a victim of identity theft.
Now that you know more about how to prevent identity theft when traveling, get your Credit Report and Score.