Avoid identity theft this summer

Between traveling and sending the kids off to camp – summer can be a hot time for identity theft.

With so much else to think about such as planning, packing, and securing your home, identity theft is probably the last thing on your mind. But Problem Solver Susan Hogan warns it’s just as important as any other part of planning a trip.

When traveling, you should take a minimal amount of items containing sensitive personal information like Social Security cards, work ID, and extra credit cards. Also, it’s important to contact your bank and credit card companies to let them know when and where you’re traveling so they can better monitor fraud.

If you plan to stay in a hotel, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns of some common schemes, such as fake calls from the front desk. If you get a call from someone claiming to be the front desk asking for verification of your credit card number – do not give it out. When an actual issue arises, hotels will always ask you to bring your card to the front desk to deal with it face-to-face.

Fake wi-fi networks are also a problem, in which crooks use them to pull your information from text messages or online activity. To avoid a scheme like that, simply confirm the hotel’s authorized network when you check in.

As for summer camps, parents have to hand over their kids’ birth certificates and Social Security numbers – which in the wrong hands can be misused.

The FTC recommends parents ask:

  • Where that information is stored
  • Who sees it
  • How the records are being used
  • Who has access
  • What happens when they’re done with the information (Are they shredded or returned?)

Article source: http://wpri.com/2014/07/17/avoid-identity-theft-this-summer/

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