March is Fraud Prevention Month and I have been thinking about how we can protect ourselves from identity theft. Over the past couple of years I have become much more diligent about shredding important documents and bills rather than discarding them. I don’t hand out personal information at the door or on the phone and I teach my kids privacy, but how do we protect ourselves when we travel? Fellowes offers these tips for protecting yourself from identity theft while on vacation.
1. Put a hold on your mail – If you are planning to be gone for a week or more it’s a good idea to put a hold on all your mail (bank statements, credit card bills etc…).
2. Take out the garbage – Don’t leave any personal items that are not shredded in your blue bins or garbage cans. If thieves notice you are away, it doesn’t take long to go through your bills and obtain information leading to
identity theft or fraud.
3. Alert Credit Card Companies – Be sure to let your credit card providers know you will be travelling, so if any suspicious charges appear on your card, they will know ahead of time. Also, this will help them keep track of other possibly suspicious charges that could appear elsewhere.
4. Limit Online Banking – When you are travelling you may be using internet cafes, or other public-usage computers. Ensure you log out of all sites that may give out personal information – especially when on a public computer.
5. Keep your wallet light – Keep your wallet light with as few cards and personal information as possible. Lock all valuables in your hotel safe or your suitcase. Pickpockets are more common than you think!
6. Never leave valuables unattended – Be sure to never leave your passport, birth certificate credit cards etc. lying around your hotel room. Most hotels provide a safe in each room, so use it!
7. Keep a close watch on your bills – When you get home from your vacation, ensure you thoroughly check your bank statements and credit card bills for any possibly suspicious activity.
8. Choose ATMs carefully – Banks have been reporting more and more ATM-skimming crimes. This is when thieves insert a card reader into an ATM to capture your account information and PIN number when you use your card. It’s best to stick with ATMs located directly in a bank.
Like Fellowes Canada on Facebook and visit the page to learn more about how to avoid Identity Theft.
We will also be chatting about this and other fraud prevention techniques at the #FellowesProtects twitter party.
When: Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 at 8pm EDT
Moderators: @Listen2Lena @FeistyFrugal @Kidsumers @TeacherMomofTwo
2 x 63Cb shredders (retail value $189.99)
2 x P-12C shredders (retail value $99.97)
4 x 4-pk of Fellowes Bankers Box R-Kive boxes available at Staples (retail $19.99)
RSVP with your twitter handle (eg. @kidsumers) below.