Protecting Yourself From Identity Theft While Moving
Moving is a very confusing, stressful, and busy time. It is easy to overlook the fact that during this time you will be signing a lot of forms (your various invoices, inventories, even obtaining estimates) and giving out a lot of information. Some of this will be personal information. That alone can put you at risk for identity theft. Not to mention the extra paper and other things that you may be throwing away in the process of downsizing before and during your move. Here are some great tips to help protect yourself against identity theft during your move.
Be Vigilant About Your Information
You really want to be vigilant when it comes to protecting your information. This means both your offline and online information (think about the actual paper as well as online banking and other accounts). Consider how you are using and protecting your:
- Online bank accounts
- Online finance and brokerage accounts
- All online passwords (they should not all be the same one)
- Where you check these accounts (avoid using public computers)
- ATM withdrawals (be careful to avoid any suspicious activity, shield keypad when entering PIN)
- Watch the ATM machine for any suspicious devices attached
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Using Debit & Credit Cards
The most likely places for your identity to be compromised are when you are traveling and make purchases at unfamiliar locations or businesses. This could easily happen while conducting a move, especially a long-distance move.
Be careful whenever using any credit or debit card. Be even more careful when doing so during your move. Watch for extra devices attached to machines that could be used to skim your cards (and make copies of them for the identity thieves to use).
Watch Account Activity
You will want to check your accounts frequently. Monitor them for unusual or suspicious activity. If you notice anything, contact your bank immediately since many have time limits for which you can be reimbursed.
If you don’t want to bother with any of this, it is also possible to obtain prepaid credit cards. Those can be used on your move easily, knowing that even if they are compromised, your actual identity will not be stolen (although you might end up losing some of the money that was placed on that particular card).
Identity Theft Services
There are also a number of identity theft services that help to monitor all of your accounts. Some of the better ones will also monitor your credit report file and then provide you with notices of any changes. This can help you fight back against any potential cases of identity theft or other problems, even while you are moving.