When you’re getting ready to travel, you may shop for clothes, TSA-approved bottles, and other necessities to make your time away from home more comfortable. However, you may not be prepared to protect your identity! Unfortunately, traveling makes you a target for domestic and international identity theft. As such, taking the necessary steps to shield yourself is crucial. The following blog explores the precautions you should take and how a Los Angeles, California identity theft lawyer can help if you’ve been a victim.
What Steps Can I Take to Protect My Identity While Traveling?
Before you leave home, there are a few things you can do to help protect yourself from identity theft. The first is to place your mail on hold. Unfortunately, when thieves see your mail piling up, it indicates you are not home. As such, they may steal mail containing sensitive information that can be used to compromise your identity.
Next, you should update all your phone’s security settings. Because your device likely contains all your accounts, failing to ensure your security measures are up to date can lead to trouble if your device is lost or stolen. Be sure to set your phone’s auto-lock to a short period of time. You should also turn on two-factor authentication, which can prevent others from accessing your accounts, as you will need to confirm the login.
When traveling, it’s important to only bring the bare necessities in terms of financial and other identification documents. While you’ll need to ensure you can get through airport security, you don’t need your social security card or other documents that can be stolen. It’s also important to refrain from bringing every credit and debit card you own. In fact, it may be best to bring only credit cards, as it can be easier to dispute fraudulent charges than it is with a debit card.
Finally, you’ll want to avoid looking like a tourist, as this can make you an easier target. Try to research beforehand what locals wear, and emulate those styles. You should also invest in a purse or bag that’s difficult to open and sits close to your body to prevent theft.
What Should I Do if I Believe My Identity Was Compromised?
If you believe your identity was compromised while traveling, taking the necessary steps to mitigate damage is essential. You’ll first want to contact the Federal Trade Commission to report the theft. Similarly, you can contact the three major credit reporting agencies to request a freeze, which will prevent additional accounts from being opened in your name.
Finally, you’ll want to contact Los Angeles Legal Solutions for assistance regaining control of your credit and removing accounts of theft from your credit report. Our firm understands how troubling this can be, and as such, we will do everything possible to assist you during these challenging times. Contact us today to learn how we can help you recover from identity theft.