Costa Mesa, Calif., June 17, 2015 — Consumers are missing the boat on identity-theft protection while traveling according to a new survey commissioned by Experian’s ProtectMyID®, a leading full-service provider of identity-theft detection, protection and fraud resolution. One in five consumers has had an item with sensitive information lost or stolen while traveling, such as a driver’s license, passport, smartphone or credit/debit card. Overall, 39 percent of respondents have been personally victimized while traveling or know someone who has (a 9 point increase over last year).
“Vacations give people the perfect chance to relax and stop thinking about everyday life, and that’s something identity thieves count on to make it easier to commit their crimes,” said Guy Abramo, president, Experian Consumer Services. “By taking some precautions before, during and after vacation, people can reduce the risk of identity theft happening to them.”
Identity theft has a significant impact on the overall travel experience and often takes time to resolve. In fact, 53 percent of people affected by identity theft on vacation noted it took weeks to reach resolution, while 7 percent reported months and 4 percent noted years. Despite the known hassles caused by identity theft, the survey shows that consumers do not take important steps to avoid falling into identity thieves’ traps.
Consumers say they fall short on identity protection while traveling
Before the trip:
• Almost half do not remove unnecessary credit cards from their wallet (47 percent)
• Fifty-five percent do not stop mail delivery
• Only 39 percent notify credit/debit card providers that they’ll be traveling, and only 32 percent notify their bank
• Sixty-two percent do not store copies of sensitive information at home in case it is lost or stolen on the road
• Only 38 percent lock sensitive information in a hotel safe
• Only 37 percent check bank statements for signs of fraud
• Sixty-five percent post pictures of their whereabouts on social media
• Seventy-two percent use public Wi-Fi
• Sixty-five percent do not password-protect their phone
• Only 21 percent enable a lost-smartphone app
• Only 25 percent use a travel wallet for extra security
After returning home:
• Only 58 percent review credit card statements for suspicious activity
• Only 38 percent review their credit report for changes that could indicate fraud
What’s in travelers’ wallets?
Most travelers surveyed (82 percent) bring their credit cards while traveling (an 11 point increase over last year), compared to 67 percent who bring their debit cards. Additional sensitive information travelers carry:
• Medical identification card: 65 percent (up 6 points)
• Driver’s license: 86 percent (up 11 points)
• Passport: 56 percent (down 10 points)
• Social Security card: 25 percent (down 2 points)
• Travelers cheques: 16 percent (down 12 points)
How consumers can better protect themselves:
• Stop mail delivery before departure. An overflowing mailbox signals that you are not home.
• Carry only what you need. Don’t carry your Social Security card or birth certificate when traveling and limit the number of credit/debit cards in your wallet.
• Don’t use public Wi-Fi if accessing sensitive information. Public Wi-Fi hotspots make it easier for thieves to see what you access on the open network.
• Lock up sensitive documents. Use hotel safes to store important documents and credit cards when you aren’t using them.
• Password-protect your phone. Your phone provides access to sensitive information and accounts. Set a unique password to unlock the device and enable remote-finding-and-wiping software to track the phone or destroy the data if it’s lost or stolen.
• Keep a record. In the event of a lost or stolen wallet, it’s important to know exactly what’s missing.
• Keep a close eye on accounts. Review financial accounts during your trip and when you get home, including bank and credit card statements. You should also keep an eye on your credit report as well. Signs of fraud and identity theft often show up on your credit report and financial statements.
• Enroll in identity monitoring and take action if you receive alerts that your identity could be compromised.
1 480 263 1557
About the survey
The online survey was commissioned by Experian’s ProtectMyID, produced by research firm Edelman Berland and conducted as an online survey of 1,000 adults ages 18 and older residing in the United States from May 5, 2015, through May 11, 2015. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.1 percent. To learn more about the survey, please visit http://blog.protectmyid.com/2015/06/16/summer-travel-and-identity-theft-survey-results/.
About Experian’s ProtectMyID
ProtectMyID is a leading, full-service provider of identity theft detection, protection and fraud resolution. ProtectMyID offers comprehensive identity theft protection features supported by experienced identity theft resolution professionals who deliver personal attention that customers can rely on. ProtectMyID.com® is a Website owned by ConsumerInfo.com®, Inc., an Experian company. For more information about how ProtectMyID helps consumers protect themselves against identity theft, please visit http://www.protectmyid.com.
We are the leading global information services company, providing data and analytical tools to our clients around the world. We help businesses to manage credit risk, prevent fraud, target marketing offers and automate decision making. We also help people to check their credit report and credit score, and protect against identity theft. In 2014, we were named by Forbes magazine as one of the “World’s Most Innovative Companies.”
We employ approximately 17,000 people in 39 countries and our corporate headquarters are in Dublin, Ireland, with operational headquarters in Nottingham, UK; California, US; and São Paulo, Brazil.
Experian plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange (EXPN) and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 index. Total revenue for the year ended March 31, 2015, was US$4.8 billion.
To find out more about our company, please visit http://www.experianplc.com or watch our documentary, “Inside Experian.”
Experian and the Experian marks used herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of Experian Information Solutions, Inc. Other product and company names mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.