The 7 Best Ways to Protect Your Identity on the Road

Your job takes you out on the road for a good portion of the year. You’ve figured out how to get past airport security in record time. You can spot a good place to eat and avoid dealing with a sour stomach after a meal. But what about handing the restaurant your Visa or MasterCard and finding out that it’s been declined? That’s a feeling that’s a lot worse than an upset stomach. Especially after you’ve given the credit card company a call and found out that your card has been maxed out. By someone else. Now, what?

Just as you make sure to lock your hotel door at night, you need to put a lock on your identity, as well. The Federal Trade Commission, with its top consumer complaints list for 2021, listed identity theft as the number one consumer complaint. [1] Out of over 1.8 million complaints filed for 2021, approximately 15% were related to identity theft. With the advent of technological devices, such as smart phones as well as social media, identity theft is more prevalent than ever.

So, what are the 7 best ways to avoid identity theft when you’re out on the road?

Here’s our list:

1. Avoid the use of debit cards when you travel.

Instead, use debit cards. With credit cards, you have the ability to dispute fraudulent charges. Those charges can then be reversed. But the criminal use of your debit card connects directly back to your bank account at home.

2. Never give out your credit card number over the phone.

If you have to, pay a visit to the hotel front desk if you need to confirm a request.

3. Be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM.

Block the keypad so no one can see you entering your PIN. Also be on the alert for someone taking your picture with a digital camera or mobile device.

4. Do not carry your Social Security card with you.

It’s better that you store it in a secure location back home.

5. The same holds true for your checkbook.

You want to avoid carrying your bank account number around with you.

6. When you don’t need your travel documents, you should store them in the hotel safe and not in your room.

7. See if your travel insurance company offers identity theft recovery services as an option.

Or you can subscribe to an identity theft protection service. This can assist you in restoring your credit, deactivating and replacing stolen or lost cards/passports. They can also work with you when it comes to filing reports with the proper authorities. If you don’t have this type of travel insurance, or subscribe to an identity theft protection service, you may to wish obtain this.

1. 1. Federal Trade Commission Annual Report

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