Memorial Day is approaching and the summer travel season. This week’s blog focuses on tips to limit exposure to identity theft in that process-maximize fun—minimize risk!
Travel scams can take on many forms, and they can strike at any point along your journey, from before you leave home until well after you return.
While planning a trip, you might encounter online booking scams, popup ads for “amazing” deals that install viruses on your computer, or bait-and-switch scams that offer you incredible deals on stunning accommodations that don’t even exist. Thoroughly research before booking.
During your trip, you have to be mindful of a wide variety of scams and frauds. It might be the stranger in need who steals your money, a local official scheme that extorts money from you for supposedly breaking the law, hackers who steal your information when you connect to hotel or public wifi, or any number of other methods of attack.
Once you return to the safety of your own home, you’re still not out of the woods when it comes to a travel scam. You may find out the hard way that someone copied your credit card while you were away—something that can happen quite easily in a restaurant or hotel—and is now using it widely. You might receive phone calls or emails informing you that you ran up extra charges and are expected to pay them (charges you didn’t actually make, but how will you prove it now?). It could even be an unscrupulous property owner who now claims outrageous damages to the rental property where you stayed.
Be vigilant about the way you use your credit cards and other sensitive accounts. Keep monitoring activity before, during and upon return. Stay informed on the latest scams. Book through trusted sources.
Nothing will replace being smart about your accounts and your personal identifiable information; monitoring your online accounts regularly and knowing what types of information you’re sharing will help you safeguard yourself.
For more on identity theft protection best practices, please visit legalshred.com