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Point Me to the Miles

Navigating the Path to Great Travel

Tips to Avoid Identity Theft While Traveling This Holiday Season

The holidays are busy travel time, which means that it has the potential to be a prime time for identity theft.  But with identity theft protection (many companies like LifeLock offer miles for signing up) and a proactive attitude you can keep yourself safe.  Here are some additional travel-related tips that can help you:

ID Theft

  1. Carry a credit card with lost wallet protection, and have their emergency telephone numbers on hand.  Most credit card companies like American Express carry this sort of protection, and will be willing to help you out immediately.
  2. Keep your wallet in a non-conspicuous location.  Expert pick-pockets can snatch items out of your pockets without you noticing, and your back pocket is often the first place they will look.

    Whenever I am in large, crowded places I will keep my wallet in my front pocket or in a money belt underneath my pants.  If you are really worried, keep one hand in your pocket and on your wallet at all times.

    Needless to say, I am happy to report I have never been pick-pocketed by following this principal.

  3. Inspect ATMs and Point of Sales systems for tampering.  There have been a number of cases where ATMs where altered to track and record credit card information after each swipe.  If it seems suspicious, move on to another ATM.
  4. Review receipts and keep your credit cards in sight at all times.  It sounds obvious, but dishonest cashiers may purposefully overcharge you, or even worse copy down your credit card number when out of sight.
  5. If you are using a publically-shared network like those at airports or hotels, limit purchases through online retailers, and avoid logging into banking websites as much as possible, ESPECIALLY IF USING A PUBLICALLY-ACCESSIBLE COMPUTER.  Identity thefts can easily track you’re your information with key logging software.  If you never access this information in public, it’s virtually impossible for them to get a hold of it.

If you have any more tips you think are worth sharing, feel free to leave comments!

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