Now that state and federal regulations regarding COVID-19 are lenient, many families are sure to travel during the holidays. While this can be exciting for everyone, one area of concern some people may not focus on is how to protect their personal information. Families risk having their identities stolen when they travel with social security cards, credit cards, and other documents.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), many scams have occurred regarding COVID-19 and identity theft. The most common forms of scams fall into the following categories:
- Imposter scams
- Debt collection
- Identity theft
- Phone scams
Our credit union in Harlingen wants to share a few tips to help you avoid having your identity stolen while traveling.
Change Your Social Media Habits
Using social media while vacationing can have some drawbacks. Primarily, it allows scammers to know that you’ll be away from home, leaving your residence unsupervised.
Protect yourself by:
- Waiting to show off your holiday trip until you return home.
- Avoid announcing your vacation on social media and only informing those you trust, like family and close friends.
- Turning off location settings on your posts so scammers will be unaware that you’re out of town.
Secure Your Valuables
Don’t leave personal information out in the open at home while you’re vacationing. The best thing you can do is stash checkbooks and other financially sensitive documents in a secure, fireproof safe or a safety deposit box at our credit union in Harlingen.
Stay Cyber Secure
A more recent form of identity theft has been committed with radio-frequency-identification (RFID) scanners and stickers. With these RFID scanners, a scammer can walk through a crowded area like an airport and wirelessly pick up hundreds of people’s information from debit cards, passports, and laptops!
Protect your information by:
- Investing in RFID debit card protectors. These thin card protectors prevent scanners from wirelessly picking up info from your passports and cards.
- Speaking with our credit union to see if your card has an RFID chip installed so you can decide whether to travel with it or not.
Download Our Mobile App
Avoid using public-shared computers at hotels or airports by having everything conveniently accessible on your phone. Use our mobile app to:
- Make transfers with Zelle®.
- Deposit checks with our mobile feature.
- View your balances and transaction history.
- U Choose Rewards to earn points on every dollar you spend.