No matter what your reasons are for moving to a new home, this life-changing event can be filled with excitement, anticipation, and a lot of back-breaking work. Unfortunately, this can also leave you vulnerable to identity theft, especially if you let your guard down. Don’t let this happen to you. Here are some tips to help you protect your personal information during a move and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.
Tips to Protect Your Identity and Prevent Theft When Moving
- Submit a Change of Address Form. Aside from submitting a formal Change of Address Form to your local post office, make a list of all the organizations and businesses that send you mail on a regular basis (e.g. your bank and other financial institutions, insurance companies and healthcare providers, utility companies, schools, publications you subscribe, etc.) and notify them of the address change.
- Protect sensitive documents. Don’t leave any personally identifiable information in the dumpster. Identity thieves can easily use this information against you. To be safe, put all your sensitive documents (e.g. birth certificate, Social Security cards, financial documents, stock certificates, insurance policies, wills, etc.) in a locked box or online vault and keep them with you during the move. As an added precaution, shred documents you no longer need.
- Be present. Your mere presence during the duration of the move can deter theft and help ensure that things are being properly taken care of.
- Monitor financial statements. Monitor your bank and credit card statements for any signs of suspicious activities during and after the move.
- Use a trustworthy moving company. Not all moving companies are created equal so do your research to find one that you can trust. Take time to read online reviews and ask for recommendations from family and friends who have recently moved. For best results, choose a company that is fully licensed and insured, has an excellent rating with the Better Business Bureau, and has been recognized as a leader in the industry.
Remember, you can prevent identity theft when moving. For more tips on how you can enjoy a more affordable and stress-free move, download a copy of “The Ultimate Guide to Moving”, a comprehensive guide that provides helpful tips in planning and organizing your move.