We all know what identity theft is, but until you’ve had it happen to you, you may not realize how damaging it can be. Every year millions of Americans have their identities stolen. Members of the military are even more susceptible to identity theft. Being gone for long periods of time during deployments or training, not being able to access accounts, and frequent moves, can make those in the military more prone to identity theft. How do you stop it? Here’s a few tips to keeping your identity safe during a PCS.
- Submit A Change of Address Form
Submit a change of address with the post office. This can be done online or in person. Doing so will ensure all of your mail is forwarded to your new address. If this isn’t done, anyone can pick up your mail and do what they wish with it. Credit card statements, credit card offers, bank statements, and anything else that comes in the mail is free game.
- Change Your Address With Creditors
Call your bank, credit cards, and any one else you deal with financially to change your address. The change of address with the post office will stay in effect for a year, but it’s best to make sure all addresses and contact info are up to date as soon as possible.
- Hand Carry Personal Documents
Pack and move any personal documents yourself. This includes everything from birth certificates and social security cards to insurance policies and investment paperwork. If you take it yourself, no one will have access to it, but it also lowers the risk that it ends up in that one box that is never seen again after the move.
- Shred Unnecessary Documents
PCS season is the best time to purge. That includes documents you no longer need. Clean out the filing cabinets and shred anything that is not needed. Less papers mean less to deal with at the new location and if it’s shredded, odds are no one will dig through the trash to find information.
- Secure Your Electronic Devices
So many of our financial information is stored on our computers and other devices. Make sure to have them completely turned on and unplugged when the movers come. If you can move them yourself, that’s even better. It will lower the risk of anything being broken and lower the risk of anyone accessing information on them. I’ve known far too many people who have lost laptops to the movers.
- Pay Attention To The Movers
I like to think everyone is nice and trustworthy, but we all know that isn’t the case. Pay attention to your movers and what they are doing. Too often things can go missing. How easy would it be for them to slip a piece of paper in their pocket or even take a picture of paperwork with their phones? You would never be the wiser. Let that guy pack up the kitchen for a minute while you supervise in the office.
- Check Your Credit Reports
You should be doing this anyway, but check them after you move. Make sure nothing looks suspicious and if anything does, investigate and report it. The faster you catch fraudulent activity, the better.
- Sign Up For LifeLock
LifeLock uses advanced technology to constantly monitor and detect suspicious activity. If they see something that looks fraudulent, they will send you a fraud alert via text, phone, or email. If you confirm it is fraudulent, they will take action. Enroll now and receive the first 30 days free, plus 15% off, and a free American flag. Use promo code WESALUTE3 to take advantage of this offer. No matter how vigilant you can be in protecting your identity, things can still happen. LifeLock will look out for you in the case that the unimaginable happens.
**This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of LifeLock. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.