Vacation tips to prevent fraud and identity theft

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — With the warmer weather we have been enjoying for the past few days, it may have many of us thinking about family vacations. Now if you do plan on taking one, you need to make sure you are prepared before going away.

According to the Connecticut Better Business Bureau, travelers need to be aware of criminals and the possibility of fraud on vacation. Now before you take off, you should make sure your home and windows are locked up. Also send a note to your post office to temporarily suspend your mail. The BBB also suggests putting your lights on a timer and turning down the heat. You should also have neighbors and friends keep an eye on your home while you are gone. Experts say another tip you should do is leave as many credit and identification cards at home as possible.

BBB tips to prevent fraud:

Upon arrival at your destination:
– Better Business Bureau cautions against carrying credit cards, cash and passport at the same time. Carry only as much cash as you need for the day and leave the rest in the hotel room safe.
– Beware of your surroundings to avoid low tech fraud, such as pickpockets and purse snatchers.
– Withdraw cash from a bank ATM. Standalone ATMs might be outfitted with card skimmers or may have been tampered with and are a prime target for thieves.
– At the hotel, ask for the name of the hotel’s Wi-Fi network. Hackers can set-up authentic-looking hotel networks, and if you unwittingly connect to one of them, a cyber crook can burrow into your computer or smart device.

Hotel Scams to Avoid:
– The front desk scam – You might receive a telephone call from someone “at the front desk” who wants to confirm your information because “the computer system is down.” In fact, the call came from outside the hotel. Hotel employees will never ask for personal or financial information by calling your room.
– The yummy menu scam – Someone slips a flyer for a restaurant under your door with images of sumptuous meals. If you call to order, they will ask for your credit card number. Unfortunately, there is no restaurant, you have just given your credit card number to someone is using it to go on a shopping spree, and your stomach will continue to rumble.
– When you get home, reconcile your receipts with your bank and credit card statements to look for any errors or fraud.

You will find additional details about protecting yourself and your finances at bbb.org/.

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