Three tips to avoid identity theft before moving
December 16, 2016
It’s moving day and people don’t want to take unnecessary items, or documents, to a new location. These items add extra work to pack and added weight to transport. You can’t just throw them in the trash, leaving the potential for identity theft to occur. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) stated that identity theft complaints were the second most reported, increasing 47 percent from 2014. Here are three tips to help you safeguard your personal records and information before moving day.
It’s easy just to throw things away. Most people assume once it’s in the trash their items have been disposed of, but identity thieves are known for searching through the trash for paper documents they can use for identity theft. These personal records should be securely shredded. Types of documents that require proper destruction include financial statements, receipts, tax returns, investment summary statements, W-2 forms, medical records, and more. Ripping a document into multiple pieces isn’t a thorough enough way to dispose of sensitive documents. Although time consuming, putting together pieces of a ripped document is a known practice of identity thieves and now with today’s technology, these documents can be digitally recreated from those pieces or strips. Always shred documents using a diamond or confetti cut shredder rather than machines that shred into long strips.
Before moving, reach out to all of the businesses that you have regular mail from and let them know your change of address. Today most companies offer e-statements that can be viewed online and eliminate the need of monthly paper statements. Viewing financial documents online provides an added layer of protection since you would need to log into your online accounts which contains security layers limiting access to unauthorized users. Electronic statements are a great alternative when moving so your personal information doesn’t get delivered to the new residents while your change of address is being processed by the Post Office. Additionally, e-statements are environmentally friendly since there is no waste associated with this format.
Monitor credit scores after your move
It’s highly recommended to monitor your credit scores after a move. You might feel that you made sure that everything that had personal information was removed or destroyed, but there is always a possibility that something was overlooked. Even though you might have called the companies that send you mail and notify them of your change of address and also updated your mailing address with USPS, there is a possibility that some mail may still be delivered. Consider subscribing to a credit monitoring service that monitors all 3 credit bureaus, Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. This will notify you of changes to your credit report allowing you to detect unauthorized accounts or activity in the early stages of identity theft.
Crown Relocations has over 50 years of experience helping individuals and companies move. Contact a Crown representative in a local office today. To learn more about document shredding services and how they can assist with your move, contact a Crown Relocations representative today.