Take A Vacation To Lose Your Worries, Not Your Identity

Summer is the season when people often take trips to get away from their day-to-day grind and relax in a new place. Unfortunately, being a tourist also makes you an easy target for con artists that steal people's identities for their own personal gain.

Identity theft happens year-round, but people that are in an unfamiliar place are especially susceptible to this kind of fraud. Fortunately, there are several ways you can protect yourself from identity fraud and catch the perpetrators if you have already fallen victim to this kind of scheme.

Protect Yourself From Scams And Identity Fraud While On Vacation

If you are traveling to a new place, there are several things that you can do to stay on guard from scammers and con artists that want to steal your money and your identity:

  • Always be aware of where your wallet is. Some travel guides suggest carrying it in your front pocket so that you are less vulnerable to pickpockets
  • Be careful when you connect to wireless networks in public places. These networks are sometimes set up by hackers with the intent of stealing information people put on them, such as credit card numbers or the login information for sensitive accounts
  • If you run into someone claiming to trade you a valuable item for money but you have no way of verifying the quality of the object, it is most likely a scam

These are just a few of the ways your identity can be compromised while traveling. Once the thieves have access to sensitive information like your credit card number, date of birth, and social security number, they can do damage that might take years to recover from. Taking these few precautionary measures now may save you from a load of trouble in the future.

Private Investigative Services Can Help You Fight Identity Theft Anywhere

Unfortunately, the risk of having your identity stolen does not stop when you return home from your travels. Crooks are ruthless and will use every trick in the book to get your sensitive information. In one case, we caught criminals stealing mail right out of our clients' mailbox. Just a handful of mail from creditors and financial institutions provides thieves with enough information to take control of these accounts or use the information included on statements to make fraudulent purchases.

If you are worried about falling victim to one of these thieves, a private investigator can help in several ways. Private investigators can run a complete background check on a person like a nanny or maid to check their criminal record and see if anything suspicious is apparent. A private investigator can also provide surveillance services if you feel your mailbox is being compromised or tampered with. If you believe you've already been victimized by an identity thief, a private investigator can help you examine the clues and determine where the thief is and what they are doing with your identity.

Pay Careful Attention to Bank Accounts & Credit Card Statements

Take time each month to at least skim through your bank and credit card statements to look for suspicious activity. Many identity thieves and con artists are savvy. Rather than making big store purchases that will be obvious, they use stolen credit cards for smaller purchases from gas stations, grocery and convenience stores, and other run-of-the-mill locations. These sporadic charges are less likely to be noticed but can siphon hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars from your accounts and into their pockets without you ever noticing.

Getting your identity stolen can be a devastating situation. This summer, hire a private investigator to help you safeguard sensitive information from being stolen, or to prevent a thief who already has your identity from causing further damage to your personal finances.

Mike Garroutte, owner of Linked Investigations, is an Orange County Private Investigator who has worked to solve hundreds of identity theft cases in his time. Give us a call, 714.432.9911 or email us: info@linkedinvestigations.com

Published on: 
August 1, 2014
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