While on holiday, vacation, or a business trip, do you trust security, which is tasked with keeping you safe during your stay away from home? Or the housekeeper who cleans your room? Maybe even the bellman who handles your luggage? How about the hotel or department store clerk who swipes your credit card for payment? Why not – right?
These people are legitimate, hardworking customer service employees who are there to serve you. In fact, we as travellers depend upon these hospitality workers to keep us safe, well cared for, as well as our private information guarded.
According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), we cannot trust anyone with our personal information.
ITRC suggests that, while travelling, never carry your checkbook. Instead revert to using traveler’s checks, credit cards, or cash.
ITRC says not only should you be suspicious of service workers, look out for fraudulent Automated Teller Machines (ATM) – that’s to say, fake machines that are positioned in areas where tourism is elevated. Stick to bank ATMs and machines that are a permanent fixture.
Travellers are advised to minimize the amount of account information left laying about the room or space. Others may also have access to the same room or space that a traveller is unaware of, placing any personal information in the room or space, at risk of theft.
ITRC advises that your suitcase may not be a legitimate solution to store your valuables. Instead utilize the hotel safe anytime you leave your room.
Pickpockets are a traveller’s worst nightmare as they exist in almost every major country and city. These pickpockets have advanced past just stealing your cash. They are looking for check books, social security numbers, driver licenses, and passports. It’s best to use small bags with zipper locks or fanny packs, to keep your information safe and secure, according to ITRC.
If you’re travelling to another city, state or even country, you should only carry the essentials in your wallet, ITRC advises. In case of emergencies, your medical card should always be handy, in addition to an emergency contact phone number and any travel documents such as a COPY of your hotel reservation, plane ticket, visa and passport.
The aforementioned documents are especially essential when travelling to another country, as you may be stopped and asked for proof of your visit. ITRC strongly suggests that you keep your originals in a separate place from your copies.
Lastly, ITRC urges all travellers to never, ever allow any sort of mail, including packages, personal mail or newspapers to be delivered while on holiday, vacation or a business trip. Place a ‘postal hold’ on your mail until you return. This will deter thieves from staking out a home that looks unattended.
By following these important guidelines, ITRC’s recommendations may just keep your personal information identity theft free!