Tips On Keeping Your Identity Safe Over The Holidays
Holidays are joyous and fun times of the year unless the Identity Theft Grinch visits you. Swarms of people in public places and retail settings are a boon to pickpockets during holidays. Identity theft can start with a lost or stolen wallet or purse. Although it is disputable whether stolen wallets are the main route to becoming a victim of identity theft, victims frequently attribute a stolen or lost wallet or purse as the cause of identity theft.
You can avoid becoming a victim of identity theft during the holidays with a few prevention tips that apply to your wallet or purse.
Prepare for the worst by cleaning out your wallet. Remove unnecessary credit cards, identification and anything containing your Social Security number. Most experts recommend not carrying more than one or two credit or debit cards. You need your driver’s license, and maybe a health insurance card, if it doesn’t contain your Social Security number. Avoid carrying your checkbook, especially in a purse.
Take inventory of your wallet. After you clean it out, inventory what you are carrying, preferably by photocopying the contents. Note the toll free numbers on your credit and debit cards to call if the card is lost or stolen. Now, if your wallet is missing, you know exactly whom you have to contact.
Men, be conscious of your wallet when you are in crowds. Carry your wallet in a front pocket, and separate money from credit cards. I typically carry a money clip in my front pocket and separately a few credit cards and ID in a small case. Had I practiced this years ago, I wouldn’t have lost my wallet containing a few hundred dollars and more than 10 credit cards as I sat on the edge of a boat while on a lake cruise. That event ruined a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend some 20 years ago. Maybe someday I will get a call from an honest scuba diver who finds it.