Identity thieves, burglars target spring breakers
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 10, 2016) – As you make spring break plans, thieves are working on their own plans to steal from you.
It’s easy to become a victim of identity theft when people go on a mental break. So the Better Business Bureau of Central Indiana helped us put together a list of tips to help keep you safe.
Avoid Social Media
As badly as you want to post that vacation selfie, don’t announce your plans on social media. Wait until you return to post pictures or updates.
“That’s just a sign to the public that no one’s home and you know your house or your apartment could be vulnerable,” said BBB President Tim Maniscalo.
If you must, make sure your privacy setting only allow trusted family and friends to see what you’re up to.
Carry a credit card
Contrary to popular belief, opt to carry credit cards instead of large sums of cash. Credit cards give you the option of disputing a charge if someone steals your credit card. If someone steals your cash, it’s gone forever.
“If you do catch some sort of fraud on a credit card, you’re not going to be responsible for that if you report it in a timely manner,” explained Maniscalo.
Beware of public Wi-Fi
Free or not, public Wi-Fi is not usually secure. Maniscalo warns people can more easily get into your devices if you’re using public internet. Also try to avoid logging into important accounts on public hotel computers which are shared by hundreds of guests.
Skip the skimming devices
It’s a problem here at home and abroad. Skimming devices can be found at gas station or anywhere you swipe a credit card.
“BBB has seen really an uptick in that all over the country,” said Maniscalo. “Those skimmer, you know, you can go online and get those for about $50 bucks! So it’s not difficult for someone to get one of those and then you know install those someplace.
If you can, opt to pay inside the gas station.
IUPUI police is also providing some tips for foreign travel. They ask you to think twice about taking valuables with you that aren’t essential, like expensive jewelry or your laptop.
You should also scan your passport and travel documents and email them to yourself. That way, you or someone you love can still access your copies if your documents are stolen.
Leave a copy of your itinerary with someone you trust, but don’t tell strangers you meet while traveling about where you’re going or staying.
Avoid using ATM’s at night or in isolated places.
“Just make certain that you’ve got things secure. Make certain your pockets are zipped. Your purses are zipped. And they’re close to your person,” said Maniscalo. “Because people know you’re on vacation, your guard is down, and you might be carrying some extra cash too, so you are a target.