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Travel Bug vs Pest (Identity Theft)

And then it was June.

The kids are excited to end their school year and parents are frazzled trying to figure out how to keep them occupied for the next two months. For some it’s camp, daycare (shout out to all the grandparents and babysitters), or sports. For almost all it means vacation.

But then you get back (oh gosh).

And your bags sit in the corner semi unpacked for an unreasonable of amount of time. For those of you who went on a road trip, it will take at least a year to get your car back to normal.

But, what about the paper clean up? Yup, you heard that right—paper. Sure there is laundry, pictures, and souvenirs to deal with, but don’t forget about the food receipts, hotel reservations, or expired passports.

 

RECEIPTS

Think about it: any piece of paper that has even a little part of your credit card, bank account on it, as well as your signature could be used against you. In other words, any docs with identifying information that are thrown in the trash turns into Christmas in July for an identity thief.

Your paper trail will undoubtedly increase when planning and going on vacation. Restaurant, gas, travel lodging, and souvenir receipts are usually the first thing we toss without giving a second thought. You didn’t sign your copy, but if you didn’t pay in cash, the last four digits of your credit card number are on full display.

Perhaps you think it is overly cautious, but according to a survey done by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada (CPA Canada), thirty-five percent of respondents’ report being a victim of financial fraud at some point in their lives

PASSPORT

Now, what about your passport? If you have renewed your passport in anticipation for summer travelling, you need to dispose of your expired passport (and that awful picture) correctly. Holding onto expired passports, as many people like to do, is another risk. If, for whatever reason, it was to get lost or stolen, your personal information is up for grabs! That includes your full name, age, gender, address, and signature.

All of those papers and documents that pile up over the course of your vacation—one day or one month, it doesn’t matter—need to be shredded. Once you get home, simply throw them into a box (perhaps with other sensitive documents that need to be shredded) or add them to your “to shred” pile and bring them over to us!

Let the travel bug bite; keep other pests (identity thieves) away!