St. Louis, Mo., May 30, 2013 – Going on vacation means you can kick back and relax, right? Sleeping in or easing up on schedules is fine, but the Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises travelers to stay on guard against identity theft.
“Pickpockets and other thieves often target tourist destinations, looking for travelers who may be distracted or unfamiliar with their surroundings,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB president and CEO in St. Louis.
“Hotel, restaurant or airport wi-fi networks may have poor security, which can make checking bank accounts or other personal data risky," Corey said. "You can’t be too careful.”
Travelers can protect themselves by staying alert to their surroundings and putting wallets and travel documents where thieves would have a hard time stealing them, like in an inside coat pocket or travel wallet worn under your clothes. Be especially careful in crowded areas or on buses or other public transportation.
Other ways to protect your identity include:
If you are the victim of theft or you lose a wallet or cell phone while you’re traveling, make sure you know how to notify your bank, credit card companies or cell phone provider of the loss. Consider making a list of customer service phone numbers and/or account numbers that you keep separate from your wallet but not in checked luggage. If you’re traveling abroad, you may also want to bring a copy of your passport.
Wherever you go, you can check companies’ BBB Business Reviews by visiting www.bbb.org.