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Travel Tips
Pack The Sunscreen But Skip The Phishing Trip

Every year Americans look forward to summer, and what comes with it – sunshine, and an often over-due vacation! As we prepare for our time off for sun and fun, we need to be aware that identity theft can burn us more than the sun.

Identity theft has been the #1 consumer complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission for the last 11 years. As we travel and leave behind all our to-do lists and routines, we need to continue to be cautious while traveling so that we don’t make ourselves prime targets for an identity thief. Before planning your next getaway, LifeLock, an industry leader in identity theft protection recommends the following:

SKIP THE PHISHING TRIP - Be skeptical of any emails purportedly from a travel provider, hotel, or airline that directs you to a website were credit card or personal information is entered. One of the largest forms of fraud is phishing, in which identity thieves direct consumers to a phony website that requests users to enter personal and financial data. According to the Wall Street Journal, companies such as Ritz-Carlton, Disney, Marriot, and Hilton recently had their customer’s names and email addresses accessed by an unauthorized user, creating a potential opportunity for consumers to be targeted by scammers.

SEARCH FOR THE "S" – When making reservations or purchases online, be sure that the Web site is secure and that you see an https:// in the URL. The "s" in the URL indicates that the personal information being entered is encrypted and can be transmitted safely from your computer to the end point.

STAYING IN THE LOOP – Think twice before you update your FaceBook page letting the world know that you are going on vacation. You think you are keeping your friends in the loop, but this could be a welcoming note for thieves into your empty house.

– Tourist areas can be targets for pickpockets. Bring only the credit cards and identification that you need and if you’re carrying a purse, keep it zipped and with you at all times.

DON’T GET SKIMMED – Identity thieves are stealing credit and debit card numbers with an act of swiping someone else's card through a small electronic device; this method of stealing credit or debit card information is known as skimming. There are several places, such as ATM's, gas stations and restaurants, where consumer’s cards can be skimmed. Make sure the machine you use doesn’t look to be tampered with.

For additional tips on how to keep your personal information safe from identity thieves throughout the year, visit LifeLock’s Identity Theft Education Center.
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