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What You Need To Know about Preventing Identity Theft When Away from Home

If you want to prevent identity theft (and any type of theft, really), you need to be careful about what you leave in your car. Don’t make it any easier for an identity theft criminal to get your private information whether you’re at home or on the road.

Big No-Nos

You should never leave any mail or other papers with your name, address, or other private information in plain view in your car. Anyone walking by can peer in and read that information and possibly use it to commit identity theft.

Consider the Risk

If someone breaks in your car, really anything is fair game. If you leave credit cards or mail in your car, someone can steal that information and use it to commit identity theft. It’s best to keep your mail locked in your glove compartment. If the mail is visible in your car, that can provoke someone to break into your car. If a criminal walks by and doesn’t see anything worth the effort, he will most likely pass over your car. Keep any incoming mail (if you have a post office box) or any outgoing mail in your glove compartment while you’re in transit.

Precautionary Measures

Keep all your credit cards in your wallet or purse to reduce your risk of identity theft. It’s okay to leave credit cards at home, but you really should never leave credit cards in your car. A criminal who breaks into you car can steal these credit cards and make purchases on them even before you’re even aware that they’ve been stolen. If for some reason, you must leave your credit cards in your car, then make sure you lock them in your glove compartment.

Child safety experts recommend that if you have small children, you include their name, address, and contact information on their car seats in the event that you are in a car accident and the car seat is thrown from the car. The address label on the car seat can serve to identify your child. While you should definitely follow this advice, you should try to prevent your address from being visible on the car seat to anyone standing outside your car window and looking in. An identity theft criminal can piece together quite a profile of you with this added information: car model, license plate number, and home address. The above tips are important in helping you reduce your risk of identity theft.

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