When on vacation or any extended trip, you could be vulnerable to scams, both at your home and your destination. Here are tips from AARP on protecting your identity and money.
STOP MAIL AND NEWSPAPER DELIVERY. This can be arranged online via holdmail.usps.com/holdmail or at your local post office. Not only does an overstuffed mailbox suggest you're not home, but identity thieves could snatch your bank and credit card statements. You can pause newspaper deliveries by contacting the paper.
ADVISE CREDIT CARD COMPANIES. Tell your credit card companies when and where you're traveling. This helps them better discern fraudulent charges. It also reduces the chance of your cards being frozen because of what the companies perceive as unusual activity.
CHOOSE ATMS WISELY. ATMs in bank lobbies or other places with camera surveillance are less likely to have devices placed by scammers that are designed to capture your card information.
PROTECT YOUR WALLET. Weed out nonessential items in your purse or wallet. You don't need to carry your Social Security card, for example, on vacation. If you're going to a place with a high crime rate, consider carrying a secondary wallet with just a few dollars and some useless plastic cards. If mugged, hand that one over.
BE SKEPTICAL. Hotels don't need to call you to ask for financial information. A late-night call, supposedly from a hotel employee seeking to confirm your credit card information, may be a scam. Hang up and call the front desk to confirm.