Tips for protecting your home while you’re traveling

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

(WTNH)– The busy Memorial Day travel weekend is a time for families to get away, but it’s also an opportunity for thieves. We’ve got your back with how to protect yourself when you’re traveling.

Some of the most important things you can do to protect yourself when you travel should be done before you even leave home. If you’re looking online for a place to stay make sure the listing is legitimate. Thieves can lift pictures and property descriptions and then post them online. Don’t pay by wire transfer or cashier’s check.

If you have an alarm, use it. But your neighbors can be just as helpful. Tell them if you’re going to be away. Have them keep an eye on your home or have them pick up your mail. If it piles up, thieves will know you’re not home.

One of the most important things you can do before you travel is to call your credit card company and your bank before you go. Let them know where you’ll be going and how long you’ll be there. That way they won’t suspect fraud and stop your cards if you use them some place else. They’ll also be able to better monitor them for suspicious activity.

When you’re traveling keep track of your documents and make sure they’re easy for you alone to find.

“Don’t keep all your important documents in one particular area,” said Captain Geoffrey Morgan of the Branford Police Department. “If you’re a lady and you have a pocketbook keep some of your stuff locked up in your hotel room – some of the more important things, maybe extra credit cards, your IDs and passports.”

Be careful if you’re staying in a hotel. Get the name of the hotel’s Wi-Fi network before you connect to it. Thieves sometimes create fake networks with names that resemble the hotel’s. If you use one of those networks, you could get hacked. Be suspicious of the flyers under your hotel room door too. Thieves sometimes create phony flyers, so if you call to order food and give your credit card information to pay for it, your information is being stolen.

Police say it’s important to make sure to lock your car when you travel too. Though it may sound obvious, not everyone does it.

“What we do see in the summertime is an increase in thefts from vehicles, people leaving important documents, computer equipment, telephones, cell phones, pocketbooks, those type of things, in open view,” said Captain Geoffrey Morgan, Branford Police Department.

Also, keep copies of documents and cards, just in case your stuff gets lost or stolen. Keep them in a safe place or email them to yourself.

Though you might be tempted to post about your vacation on social media, wait until you get back. Otherwise this tells thieves you aren’t home.

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