Education Center

Reduce the risk of identity theft

Identity Theft While Traveling: 5 Easy Steps to Protect Yourself

The risk of identity theft increases when you travel. You carry sensitive documents like passports, you aren’t familiar with your surroundings, and you’re not home doing ordinary things like picking up your mail. To help minimize the risk, follow these steps:

  1. Stop your mail.

    Being out of town gives an identity thief ample opportunity to steal your mail. Credit card offers, bank statements, and other sensitive material can give criminals the information they need to steal your identity. Contact USPS to place a hold on your mail until you return.

  2. Make copies of your identification.

    Keep your original passport and ID in a hotel safe. If your wallet or purse goes missing you won’t have any hassles returning to the US. Plus, identity thieves will have difficulty impersonating you using a paper copy of an ID, so your identity is better protected.

  3. Pack your wallet lightly.

    Along with your original IDs, keep extra cash and credit cards in your hotel safe. Only walk around with a minimum number of cards and cash each day. That way, if you have a run-in with a pickpocket, you can minimize the damage. Also, consider subscribing to an identity theft protection service like Complete ID. Features like Lost Wallet Replacement Assistance will help cancel and restore all the contents of your wallet while you enjoy the rest of your trip.

  4. Be wary of ATMs.

    If you need cash, visit a bank teller whenever possible. Getting cash from an ATM carries its own risks, so only use ATMs from recognizable financial institutions that are in well-lit, public areas. If an ATM shows any signs of tampering, move on to another one.

  5. Protect your phone.

    Travelers are the targets of thieves who steal identities using apps like Facebook that you’re always logged into. Make sure your phone is protected with a password, fingerprint, or both. Download and activate a phone locator app. Consider installing an app on your phone that will wipe personal information in the event it is lost or stolen.

Subscribe to an Identity Theft Protection service like Complete ID. For as little as $8.99/month they will have your back so you can relax.

This article is provided for general guidance and information. It is not intended as, nor should it be construed to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. Please consult with your attorney or financial advisor to discuss any legal issues or financial issues involved with credit decisions.

Man reviewing his credit report on his laptop

What Should – and Should Not – Be in My Credit Report?

A credit report should be an accurate record of a person’s history of debt. But sometimes reports can include simple errors or even signs of credit fraud and identity theft.

...
Man travelling on a plane checking his phone

How to Practice Cyber Safety During Summer Travel

Roughly half of Americans plan to go on vacation during the summer. More than 40 percent will connect to public Wi-Fi while traveling, or unknowingly engage in other activities that leave their devices and information vulnerable.

...
Graphic of the Safe Browser App

Is Your Web Browser Safe?

There are a lot of ways to access the internet. In the past, many web surfers signed on using internet browsers like Mozilla’s Firefox and Microsoft’s Edge.

...

Join the thousands of
other Costco Members

Join Now!
  • Categories

  • *$8.99 per person per month for Executive Members or $13.99 per person per month for Gold Star and Business Members, plus sales tax where applicable. Service provided by Experian®.