Identity theft is one of the country’s most common crimes. In fact, the Federal Trade Commission estimates about nine million Americans falling victim each year.
The chance to become a victim of identity theft increases when people move as sometimes they throw away personal information and mail including credit card information.
Here are some essential tips that will help you reduce the risk of becoming a victim to take in mind when you relocate.
Work with trustworthy movers!
During your move, movers will have an access to your private information and belongings, and to your property as well. Find a reliable and reputable moving company whom you can trust with your personal information. Disclosing such information to disloyal business can do you a lot of harm.
Research! Check whether the relocation company is a legitimate business and has the needed authority and licenses. Look for any other recommendations and testimonials. Scout online reviews and ratings. Last but not least, ask around friends, colleagues or neighbors if anyone can help you make the right choice.
Take care of your documents and electronic information
If you’re keeping a great number of old bills and financial records that you won’t need any more, get rid of them by using a shredding machine to prevent identity thieves from skimming your trash for valuable information.
Separate the documents you are moving with to the new place from the belongings that will go in the moving truck. Keep your most important personal records with you – passports, birth certificates and Social Security cards.
In case you are donating or selling your computer before your move, make sure that all passwords, accounts’ information and any other personal data is deleted. Keep all devices safe with password protection before the movers come on moving day.
Direct Mail to the Right Address
You may have shred unneeded documents or safeguarded all the personal information, but what about the documents that are on their way to you?
File a change of address with the U.S. Postal Service soon enough. Don’t leave it for the last days.
If your financial records are mailed to the wrong address, you can put yourself at risk for identity theft or other fraud.
To protect your records from falling into the wrong hands, contact financial institutions and confirm that they have your new address on file and they won’t send records to the old one.