3 On Your Side: Beware Of Identity Theft This Summer

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Between travel, vacations and sending the kids off to camp, summer can be a hot time for identity theft. 3 On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan looks at some risky situations to avoid.

You probably don’t want to think about identity theft on vacation. But certain aspects of summer fun can leave anyone in the family susceptible to scams.

Consumer Reports recommends traveling with a minimum number of documents and other items containing sensitive personal information. For example, leave Social Security cards and extra credit cards at home.

Also, make bank and credit card companies aware of travel plans so they can better monitor fraud.

The Federal Trade Commission warns hotel guests of certain common scams, including calls purportedly from the front desk seeking verification of a credit card number. When a hotel really has an issue with a credit card, they’ll ask guests to come to the desk to deal with it face-to-face.

Another pitfall? Fake Wi-Fi networks. Be sure to confirm the hotel’s authorized network at check-in to avoid handing information over to scammers.

Finally, identity theft isn’t limited to adults. Children’s Social Security numbers can be a target because they provide a clean slate for scammers to open credit accounts. So if your child attends summer camp or another summer program, be sure to find out where that personal information is stored, how those records are used and who has access.

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