Traveling to another country can be an enlightening and sometimes life changing experience. You can learn about an entirely different culture and meet people who live speak a different language, enjoy a different array of cuisine and take in all of the new sites. Along with all of this fun, comes the danger of having your identity stolen. By the time you get back home and check on your finances, the damage may already have been done. In order to protect yourself from becoming the next victim you should know what to look for and how to guard yourself from identity theft.
How Can I avoid Scams and Criminals?
The best way to avoid a scam is to be aware of your environment. There are some simple things that you can do in order to keep yourself from becoming a victim of Identity theft.
- Never use your credit card on a publicly used computer or in a free Wi-Fi area on your laptop or smartphone.
- Set up an account with a protection agency, such as Lifelock. They can monitor your accounts and personal information. If they see something that looks suspicious they will contact you. If a thief is trying to open an account in your name, they will be stopped before the damage can be done.
- Follow a set identity theft protection plan designed around your household. It should include methods for keeping your information safe and a plan for removing documents securely from the home that are considered trash.
- Think about opening up a mail box at the post office. This way no one can steal your mail from your mailbox while you are on vacation.
What Kind of Setups Should I Be Looking For?
One popular approach that thieves like to impose on tourists is called the, “Front Desk Credit Card Scam.” This ploy involves you getting a call in the middle of the night asking for you to give you information over the phone since your card did not scan right. The agent claims that they need to scan your information again to charge you for the room. So in the morning you go down to check out and find out that the front desk did not call you, but rather a stranger has run off with your information.
Another ploy to watch out for involves you being at a bank machine. The thief watches you as you begin the process and will approach you just as the money comes out of the machine. They will ask you a question designed to distract you long enough for them to grab the money and run.
Finally, watch out for the stolen wallet routine. Here the thief places the wallet on the ground just waiting for an honest person to pick it up. Keep in mind that at the same time there might be an accomplice watching and waiting for the right time to pick your pocket.
Do not let your future be destroyed because of someone stealing your identity. Take the steps today to protect your life, finances and good name.