MADISON, Wis. (Civic Media) – The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection is offering suggestions to help people avoid identity theft while they’re traveling on vacation.
People who are traveling away from home are frequent targets for identity theft, according to the DATCP.
“Nobody wants to spend their vacation wary of identity theft, so it is important to prepare ahead of time,” Randy Romanski, DATCP Secretary, said. “Be careful where and with whom you share your information. Use practices and payment methods that protect you from fraud, and make a plan for what you will do if fraud occurs so you can respond quickly and minimize harm.”
Here are some tips the DATCP is offering to help people avoid identity theft:
- Clean out your wallet. Remove unnecessary cards and unneeded documents containing personal information. Never travel with your Social Security card.
- Call your bank and credit card companies. Let them know you will be traveling so they can watch for suspicious activity and fraud.
- Have the post office hold your mail. This prevents mail containing sensitive information from being left unsecured in your mailbox while you are away.
- Use the safe in your rental room if available. Lodging is not always secure, so do not leave your wallet or private documents out where they are vulnerable.
- Be wary of public Wi-Fi networks. These may be fake networks set up by criminals who use it to access your device and track your activity.
- Use social media wisely. You cannot guarantee that your friends are the only people who will access information showing you are away from home.
If you have questions or believe you are a victim of a scam, report it by contacting DATCP’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 422-7128 or DATCPHotline@wisconsin.gov.
For more information, you can visit the DATCP Consumer Protection website.