When you are moving, whether because of a PCS, retiring, or because a place opened up on base, there are many things to consider. Action steps to protect your identity when you move might not be at the top of your time-to-move-again list, but it’s important to keep in mind. So here are some ways to protect your identity from theft during a move.
Now you see me. Now you don’t.
Update your address with the companies you work with. These can be loans, banks, schools, and even subscription services. Important documents going to your old home can leave personal information in the hands of new tenants or those with access to the trash. If you are a freelancer, having tax documents or cheques arrive at the wrong home can be extra frustrating on top of a move, but it can also be dangerous from an identity theft perspective.
Leave no mail behind.
You’re sending all your items to your new home, so make sure to do the same with your mail by filing a mail forwarding form with the post office. You may not know your new address yet, so see if you can forward it to a family member or person you trust for the time between your old home and your new residence. Mail forwarding can take a week to kick in, so start forwarding your mail at least a week before you move, not the day of.
Is it a scam or a sham?
You’ll be inundated with offers, deals, and opportunities when you move. Some may be from a local store, and others may be scammers looking to get your information. Before committing to an offer or sharing personal details, research to ensure they are an honest company. Scams aren’t just faraway princes offering you money anymore. They can be letters from a faux-loan company that says you owe them or a phone call from the “IRS” to get your accounts in order if only you identify yourself with your personal information first.
Keep an eye on the horizon.
Between ensuring you always have a copy of hard orders on hand and the cat doesn’t accidentally sneak into the moving boxes, there’s a lot to look out for, so turn on alerts for your bank and credit report for any suspicious activity. Take ten minutes once a week during your moving process to look over your accounts. With all your purchasing, it’s easy for people to use your card information without you realizing it because of all the moving parts.
Hire a watchful lookout.
If adding one more thing to your plate during a move sounds exhausting, it’s okay. You can’t do it all during a move, and you don’t have to. Credit monitoring services provided by IDIQ watch your data and information for you, so you can rest knowing you don’t need to think about it at night. They’ll also keep an eye on your kids’ information. Remember, children are just as vulnerable to identity theft as adults but don’t have access to the same system of checks and alerts. Learn more about how IDIQ can help you relax during your move by protecting your identity.
Keep it secret, keep it safe.
Another way to protect yourself is to secure your social security cards, passports, and essential documents. Perhaps this is a fireproof safe, or you keep them in your backpack in the blue PCS folder with all your other papers, so you know they won’t go ‘missing’ during your move. Don’t share passwords, social security numbers, or account numbers with others unless necessary.
Moving can be stressful, but protecting your identity doesn’t have to be. Hopefully, these tips and the help from IDIQ will help you move smoothly with your information safe as you build a new life in your next home.
This article is sponsored by IDIQ. IDIQ brings superior benefits and a team of U.S.-based experts to offer the highest level of customer service to bring you industry-leading identity theft protection, credit monitoring, and data breach management. IDIQ is here to help you keep your clients and their assets safe. They are waiting to support you, your customers, and your employees. For more information on how IDIQ can help you, your family, and your employees, click here!
Writer: Aj Smit is the author of the book Red Thread: Weaving an Embodied Life of Joy, speaker, glitter enthusiast, and professional weaver of Joy. She is a military spouse in S. Korea with a pup and houseplants galore. Aj has led various Red Tents, retreats, and workshops internationally over the last ten years to help others discover how to weave creativity and curiosity into their lives. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram at @TheJoyWeaver and TheJoyWeaver.com.