13:42 PM

TransUnion Reminds Consumers to Keep Their Identities Safe While Enjoying Their Summer Vacations

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Jun 24, 2013) - Summer is officially here. School is out. And for many, that means summer vacation and traveling. For most, that means fun in the sun, and many consumers are not likely thinking about the threat of identity theft. TransUnion takes this opportunity to remind vacationers to keep their identity safe while enjoying their summer vacations.

"Unfortunately, criminals are always thinking of ways to steal your identity and identity thieves love the summer months because you let your guard down, which means an open door for the criminal to gather the information needed to steal your identity," said Julie Springer, vice president responsible for consumer education at TransUnion. "The good news is -- while you are traveling to possibly unfamiliar areas, credit monitoring services like TransUnion, will keep an eye on your credit and alert if there is a critical change to your credit, which could be the sign your identity has been compromised."

Identity theft can ruin a vacation and cause a lot of grief and work. TransUnion provides the following tips to better protect your identity from thieves while enjoying a great vacation.

  • Keep your credit cards near you at all times

  • Be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. Use one inside when available.

  • Consider contacting your bank and credit card companies and let them know where you will be and the dates you will be away. Many financial institutions will help monitor your accounts for unauthorized transactions in other locations during this time, because it reduces their liability if a criminal gains access to your accounts.

  • Use hotel safes when you can't take your cards with you. Be sure only you know the combination.

  • Do not use your credit card number on public computers. If you have to do this, be sure it's a secure site and your information is removed prior to leaving the computer.

  • When using your credit card to pay, watch the transaction completely through. Be sure no one is writing down your number or taking a picture of your card.

  • Never give your number to anyone over the phone, even the hotel staff. If someone at the hotel requests your number, walk down to the front desk to confirm the reason for the request and the validity of it.

In the event that you still become a victim of identity theft while you're traveling, act immediately to minimize damage. If you've purchased travel insurance, you may have help, so check your policy before traveling to know what steps to take to get quick assistance. If you don't have assistance under a travel policy, you need to contact your credit card issuer yourself to cancel the credit cards and notify one of the three major credit reporting agencies immediately to request a security alert be put on your file.

For more tips and information on how you can better safeguard your identity, visit TransUnion.com.

About TransUnion

TransUnion Interactive, Inc. is a consumer subsidiary of TransUnion. As a global leader in credit and information management, TransUnion creates advantages for millions of people around the world by gathering, analyzing and delivering information. For businesses, TransUnion helps improve efficiency, manage risk, reduce costs and increase revenue by delivering comprehensive data and advanced analytics and decisioning. For consumers, TransUnion provides the tools, resources and education to help manage their credit health and achieve their financial goals. Through these and other efforts, TransUnion is working to build stronger economies worldwide. Founded in 1968 and headquartered in Chicago, TransUnion employs associates in more than 33 countries on five continents. www.transunion.com. Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TransUnion.