Even at its best, summer travel can be fraught with risk. Canceled flights. Crowded beaches. And don’t get me started on small hotel rooms. But still we go—driven by the need for adventure, a wish to see new things, and the desire to escape the day-to-day routine.
Something else you should keep in mind as you plan your next trip: identity fraud. I’d argue that it should rise to the top of the risks you want to be aware of—and try to help protect against.
LifeLock sponsored a report for Javelin Strategy & Research to study travel behaviors and their impact on identity fraud. From the study, we learned that international travelers were 1.5 times more likely to become victims than those who did not travel internationally.
This is starting to make staying at home somewhat more appealing, huh?
But no, that would be boring.
So let’s break it down for you—identity fraud risk level by global region:
Travelers to Eastern Europe and South Asia are 2.4 times more likely to be victims of identity fraud than those who don’t travel. Those who go to Western Europe face less risk—1.7 times that of a non-traveler.
If you’re traveling to Canada, the risk of becoming a victim of identity fraud is akin to going to Latin America, at 1.5 times that of someone who doesn’t travel.
Okay, so we’re not saying you should stay home. In our always-connected world, some risks may be unavoidable. Still, there are steps you can take to help minimize your risk.
- When in transit, keep your identification and other important documents on you, not in your luggage.
- Be careful with odd-looking ATMs. It’s often safer to use one inside a bank than one on the street.
- Once at your destination, use a hotel safe to stow important documents.
- Use caution when on public Wi-Fi connections. Don’t transact or check your bank statements—and try not to enter any passwords. You never know who’s monitoring your connection.
Finally, stay alert. Whether you’re dining in a restaurant or traveling on public transit, be aware of your surroundings and your belongings. Even in an age of high-tech crime, old-fashioned pickpocketing remains a time-tested tactic.
Don’t let the risks of travel keep you at home. Just be smart when you’re chasing your summer adventures.