Each time you move and change your address, it exposes you to dangers of identity theft. But if you are aware of why you’re susceptible to identity theft after a move and how the thieves can take advantage of your moving then you can ensure that all possible dangers are addressed before you relocate.
How Moving Exposes You to Identity Theft
You may be aware that identity theft occurs when an unauthorized person gain access to your personal information that they can use to prepare fake documents in your name, use your credit cards or access your bank accounts.
Moving can make you vulnerable to identity theft because you may leave information behind that others can take advantage of negatively. Also, important documents that aren’t torn but left in the trash, mails that are not rerouted to new address or hiring rogue movers can expose you to identity theft. Identity thieves are known for searching trash cans and left over mails for documents, credit cards, or any other item that contains your personal data such as social security number.
How to Prevent Identity Theft While Moving
Create a Change of Address Checklist
As you prepare for your move, ensure you carefully list all institutions, companies, and subscriptions that you receive via the postal system. Mail theft is one of the easiest means of identity thefts. This doesn’t imply that the new people who moved in are not honest; rather it’s common for people to trash mails that don’t belong to them.
Imagine every possible scenarios of who could send you a mail, and make a list. List your child’s school, former employers, lawyers’ offices, banks, credit cards companies, real estate agents, newspaper, and magazine subscription etc. Don’t limit your list and make it as broad as possible. Send a change of address message to each individual, company or institutions on your list.
Destroy Files and Records Appropriately
During your move it’s crucial to destroy files and records you no longer need. But whenever you do, ensure you shred documents appropriately. If you own any highly susceptible document such as banking or credit cards information you can contact a shredding company to help you dispose such document of appropriately. Also, you can purchase a home paper shredder that can shred items like credit cards too.
Take Crucial Documents with You
If you have any delicate or important document, don’t pack and load them in the mover’s truck, rather let them travel with you in your car.
If you’re making a long distance move and stopped over in a hotel for the night, take your documents with you into your room. Also, consider packing your CDs or any other digital or audio-visual items that contain important data in your vehicle during your move.
Hire Reputable Movers
Professional and Licensed movers are not necessarily the most expensive movers. They are movers with honest reputation for high quality service and transparency. There are many moving companies claiming to be the best, but scam their customers. The internet is full of horror stories of various moving scams. Before you hire any, read reviews online, ask questions, ask for referrals, do some research, ask for recommendations, and choose carefully.
Keep a Home Inventory
A home inventory is a list of your belongings the movers will be responsible for transporting. The inventory makes it easy for you to track any of your missing items, file a claim, and can be used as evidence.
After You Move Verify Your Change of Address
After you complete your move, go over your change of address checklist and contact each of the listed companies. Find out if they have your new address and if mails are been rerouted. Credit cards companies, banks, previous employees etc. are some of the most important people you must contact.