- Clean out your wallet. Remove unnecessary credit cards, your
Social Security card, and other unneeded documents that could
compromise your identity if lost or stolen while on vacation.
- Photocopy or make a list of the remaining contents of your
wallet. Keep it in a secure and locked location or with a
trusted individual at home whom you can contact in case your
wallet is lost or stolen.
- Do not leave your wallet or any documents containing personal
information in your hotel room unattended. Use a hotel safe when
- Use traveler's checks or credit cards for payment. Leave your
checkbook in a secure locked place at home.
- Use credit cards instead of debit cards. This reduces your
vulnerability to having your checking account emptied while you
are on vacation.
- Guard your credit card receipts and car rental agreements,
particularly if they contain your full credit card number.
- If you plan on using an ATM card during your vacation, use one
that does not have debit card privileges (for example one that
requires a PIN and does not contain a Visa or MasterCard logo).
You can ask your bank to change an ATM/debit card to one that is
"ATM only." It's best to use ATM machines found at banks or
credit unions and that are in well-lit areas.
- Ask your Post Office or a trusted neighbor to hold your mail
for you. Mail that is left in an unlocked mailbox is a goldmine
for identity thieves.
- If you are bringing your laptop with you, be very careful when
using it to access online banking or other password-protected
services from wi-fi networks. Be sure to use wi-fi hotspots that
- If you are using cyber-cafe's or other public access Internet
facilities rather than bringing your laptop with you, be aware
that keyloggers (software that can track your keystrokes) may be