Illinois consumers planning a vacation in the near future probably look forward to a fun combination of adventure and relaxation. Unfortunately, though, traveling can put you at risk for fraud and identity theft. While you’re distracted by new sites, tastes, and experiences, fraudsters may strike. Therefore, it is important for all Illinois travelers to take a few security precautions before heading out. Also, while on the road, in the air, or at their destinations, they should remain alert and exercise caution with their personal information and credit cards.
10 Identity Theft Prevention Tips for Illinois Travelers Who Want to Protect their Credit While on Vacation
Illinois consumers can still relax and enjoy vacation as long as they follow a few safety tips. Typically, you can avoid becoming a victim of fraud or identity theft by taking the following actions.
Take only the credit cards you intend to use.
As careful as you are, sometimes thieves are quick. Yet, if your wallet or purse is stolen, consumers traveling from Illinois can minimize the damage by only carrying two or three credit cards and a debit card.
Take sensitive items out of your wallet or purse.
In addition to their unnecessary credit cards, Illinois consumers should remove Social Security cards and insurance cards from their wallets before traveling. These documents contain personal data that fraudsters can use to commit identity theft.
Write down all of your important information.
If your payment cards are lost or stolen, it is a helpful to have card numbers written down, along with contact information for the issuers. Of course, once Illinois consumers document this information, they should keep it in a very safe place during their trip.
Choose credit cards over debit cards while traveling.
Typically, traveling Illinois residents want to have access to their debit cards in case they need cash. However, when paying for meals, souvenirs, or attractions, they should choose credit over debit. This is because credit cards come with build-in fraud and identity theft protections.
Never leave your wallet or purse unattended.
Consumers in Illinois shouldn’t leave their wallets or purses vulnerable to thieves even while close to home. Yet, because travelers often face distractions along with attractions while on vacation, they may need to remind themselves to keep belongings in sight at all times.
Never leave your cell phone unattended.
Most Illinois cell phone users have a wealth of personal data stored on their phones. So, while traveling, they should safeguard these devices. Even if your phone is password-protected, it can get swiped by hacker who knows how to break into it. Then, if they do, and retrieve your data, they could open fraudulent accounts in your name and ruin your credit score.
Monitor your financial statements while on vacation.
Even if you’re careful, there is always a chance that a scammer might swipe your credit card number at a restaurant or in a shop. So, glance over your bank and credit card statements daily while traveling. Most of the time, Illinois consumers have instant online access to these statements. This makes it easy to check for suspicious activity from the comfort of your hotel room.
Keep cash on hand in case a payment system seems unsecure.
Obviously, it isn’t safe to carry a huge amount of cash while on vacation, but Illinois travelers should have some cash on hand. This way, if you get a bad feeling about a place’s payment system, you can avoid putting your credit card at risk.
Be extremely cautious with ATM use.
Speaking of cash, most Illinois residents must use unfamiliar ATMs while traveling. Sadly, fraudsters sometimes tamper with ATM machines. They fit them with devices called “skimmers” that can record consumer payment data. In order to avoid getting “skimmed,” always use ATMs in well-lit areas. If possible, visit ATMs located inside banks. These machines are usually monitored by bank employees, so it is more difficult for scammers to tamper with them.
Limit your social media activity.
While you may want to share your family’s vacation experiences on social media, it normally isn’t a good idea to announce your absence on public platforms. If a would-be thief sees that you’re not home, they may use the opportunity to break into your house. Then, they might steal personal information along with your other belongings, and use the data to commit identity theft.
How Illinois Consumers Should Recover their Credit Reports and Protect their Credit Scores after Identity Theft
If, in spite of every precaution, you become a victim of identity theft while at home in Pennsylvania or on vacation, you must act quickly. Because you may not know right away that identity theft has occurred, you should make a point to check your credit reports every 12 months. Just go to www.annualcreditreport.com, and request your free annual credit reports from TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
Then, while looking over your credit reports, if you spot signs of identity theft such as fraudulent transactions or bogus accounts, file a police report immediately. You will need a copy of this police report in order to complete the credit report recovery process. Next, contact Credit Repair Lawyers of America in Illinois.
Our team of credit pros helps victims of identity theft in Illinois every day by handling the entire dispute and credit report recovery process for them. We’ll also connect you with an experienced credit attorney who will do whatever it takes to remove all fraudulent items from your credit reports for FREE.
The Free and Legal Way to Get Better Credit After Identity Theft in Illinois
Don’t let identity theft damage on your credit reports bring your credit score down. At Credit Repair Lawyers of America, we’ve been cleaning up credit reports for consumers since 2008 for free. How do we do it? All of our fees come from the defendants in settled cases. This is why our clients pay nothing for the work we do.
Let’s start the conversation about what we can do for your credit. Set up your free consultation today by calling Attorney Gary Nitzkin at (773) 360-0665 or sending him a message through our contact page.
For more information about Free Credit Repair After Identity Theft, please visit https://www.creditrepairlawyersam.com/illinois/identity-theft-repair/.