Natural Disasters Can Be Identity Theft Nightmares

That Tornado That Hits May Just Result In Identity Theft

Recently tornadoes tore through areas of Southern Wisconsin and I kept hearing things on the news about people finding mail belonging to families in different counties - which got me to thinking about identity theft. Tornadoes wreak a path of destruction when they touch down, but the threat may not disappear with the storm. It may stick around for months following the disaster.

Looters, Opportunists and Bad Luck

Think about all of the sensitive documents in your home. Birth certificates, social security cards, credit card statements, checkbooks and more. Now imagine a tornado ripping through your home and throwing those papers around your property and, perhaps, even miles away from where you live.

Immediately after the storm, there will be many volunteers coming into your neighborhood to help clear up the mess. People will be everywhere and looters may not be far behind. If they have identity theft on the mind, they will be looking for your valuable documents.

And of course there's the chance that your papers could land in the lap of someone who would misuse the information - literally. Mr. Identity Theft criminal could be going out to mow the lawn and come across your credit card information or bank account statement. It's not a pretty thought.

What Can You Do?

While the chances of a tornado tearing through your house are slim, it can indeed happen. Many people have found that out the hard way. Because of this, there are precautions you should take.

First of all, keep all of your personal documents locked away safe and sound in a heavy-duty safe. If a tornado does come through, it'll have to pick up the safe and if it does manage to do that, at least your papers will be in it when the safe drops (if it's a safe of good quality).

Don't leave any personal statements or identifying papers laying around your home. Shred what you don't need and lock up the rest. By taking these simple precautions, you can help avoid identity theft should a tornado come calling in your area.

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