Identity theft can ruin a holiday
Travellers are being warned to be alert for any opportunities of identity theft while away on holidays or business trips.
The Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) warns you cannot trust anyone you meet with your personal information, including housekeeping staff, bellmen, security guards and front desk clerks.
When considering money options while travelling, ITRC recommends that you use cash, travelers checks or credit cards for purchases and leave check books at home.
Even when using ATM/Debit cards/Credit Cards, travellers need to be wary of fake ATM machines that are known to have been placed in high traffic tourist areas. Consider restricting the use of your ATM card to securely located Automated Teller Machines.
Business travellers utilising quiet evenings in the hotels to catch up on booking keeping and paying the bills are warned about the number of people who have access to your room. Account and check information can be stolen from the room while the traveller is at meetings.
Suitcases are not a secure way to lock up valuables and ITRC highly recommends the use of in room or hotels safes while you are out of the room.
Travellers should use fanny packs or travel pouches as appose to carrying a wallet or purse in your pocket. Pickpockets can be found in most major cities, especially in high traffic areas that attract business or vacation travellers. Studies revealed they are not just interested in your cash, but your identity from your SSN, checks and drivers license.
ITRC also recommends travellers dont take anything in your wallet that is not absolutely necessary, make sure that you have an emergency phone number (contact person) for emergency medical personnel to use and carry photocopies of all travel documents including plane tickets, hotel reservations and passports but keep these in a separate location from the originals.
Nothing says were out of town more than a pile of newspapers or overflowing mailbox. While away put your mail on postal hold and dont forget to stop delivery of newspapers until you return.
Following these steps ITRC believes will reduce your risk of identity theft.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: K.W