When a summer storm (or any storm) turns into a more catastrophic event, you undoubtedly have many things to consider. Scammers try to take advantage of this overwhelming time to prey on victims. Taking steps for protecting personal information before such events happen can ease the recovery by knowing your personal information is safe. Survivors of catastrophic events often face a long, challenging recovery. While they rebuild their lives, they must take care to guard against man-made threats, namely identity thieves and scammers who can damage their good name and credit.
Personal information which could be impacted include:
- Social Security Number
- Personal Contact Information
- Government-Issued Identification
- Birth Date/Birth Place
- Online Information
- Verification Data (passwords)
- Medical Records Information
- Account Numbers
Follow these steps before and after a catastrophe to protect personal information:
- Create a family ID theft protection plan. make front-and-back copies of personal documents and store them in a safe deposit box.
- Store irreplaceable items in the cloud. It’s easy and affordable to store photos and estate documents in an online vault.
- Protect information and documents. Never let these items leave your sight. They are the key to your identity.
- Check your credit report. Visit www.annualcreditreport.com.
- Hold your mail. Ask the post office to hold your mail until you’ve settled into your home.
- Watch out for post-disaster scams. Beware of identity thieves who may call, text, or email you soliciting donations.
- Call your financial institution to see if they offer identity theft management services.
This infographic from our partner IDT911 illustrates some statistics and steps you can take for protecting personal information in preparation for these events.
UPDATE: IDT911 is now known as CyberScout.