The risk of identity theft during a move is a result of personally identifiable information being shuffled around from one home to the next. It’s easy to become preoccupied with the move and overlook protecting your sensitive documents.
Identity thieves are creative in finding opportunities to steal information, and something as simple as forgetting to forward mail can put you and your family in jeopardy of identity theft.
Here are top safety steps for homeowners on the move:
- Submit a Change of Address Form. Submit an official Change of Address Form through your local post office, and once the request has been filed, keep an eye out for a confirmation from the Postal Service. You can expect your mail to arrive at your new address within 7 to 10 business days after filing.
- Shred sensitive documents. All important documents and paperwork that will not be coming with you should be shredded to prevent thieves from finding any information in your trash.
- Monitor financial statements. Communicate your new address directly to banks, credit card companies, and other important financial institutions. (rather than just relying on the change of addr4ess form) Then check to be sure you receive them at the normal time, and carefully review your statements for suspicious activity.
- Use reputable moving companies. Take the time to read reviews, research the company and ask trusted friends, family or real estate agents for recommendations. Make sure the mover is registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and has a U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) number before signing any agreements or obtaining an estimate.
- Keep documents with you. Transfer all important physical documents that will be making the move, such as wills, stock certificates, bonds, etc., to a safe and secure place such as a locked box or an online secure vault. Keep the physical documents with you during the move.
- Lock down your computer. Devote time and resources before your move to make sure all computers in your home are hack-proof and packed and out of sight before movers arrive.
- Supervise the move. Your presence could deter potential theft from occurring and you can rest assured that your personal belongings are being taken care of properly.
- Check your credit report. Take a look at your credit report for several months after you’ve moved. Any suspicious activity on the report may be a sign that your information has been compromised and local authorities and banks should be contacted.
- Verify mail is being delivered. After the move, verify that you are receiving all mail from the list of senders you identified and contacted beforehand.
For more information about protection your identity, visit www.intersections.com