May 1 marks the beginning of National Moving Month,
a time when many families start planning for a move to a new home, especially as the school year comes to a close. With more than 12 million consumers falling victim to identity theft in 2012, homeowners and renters preparing for a move need to be more vigilant when it comes to protecting their personal information. Privacy experts with Identity Guard®
, a leading identity theft protection company, have partnered with the relocation professionals at JK Moving Services to provide consumers with a comprehensive checklist to help them have a safe and worry-free move. View our infographic.
"Identity theft can happen at any point during our lifetime, but there are certain events along the way that can trigger the attention of a criminal and moving happens to be at the top of that list. When you consider all of the different types of activities that are a part of the moving process, there are multiple opportunities for identity thieves to gain access to someone's personal information and use it for their own financial gain," said Steve Schwartz, President of Identity Guard. "In partnering with our colleagues at JK Moving Services, we are able to educate those in the process of moving on how they can help protect themselves from becoming an identity thief's next victim." Historically, home buying and selling activity tends to increase during the months between May and September. And as consumers are busy packing, filling out loan applications, switching utility accounts, and monitoring the physical move itself, protecting personal information from potential identity thieves is not always a priority. It is important for consumers to be aware of the risks moving brings as their personal information is increasingly shared among a variety of sources. "Our customers trust in us to pack, move, and deliver their most beloved personal items with the utmost care and professionalism, which is why our moving professionals go through a complete background check and participate in an extensive training program," said Chuck Kuh, Founder, President and CEO of JK Moving Services. "We are delighted to partner with the team at Identity Guard to help spread the word about helping to protect your identity during this moving season and provide our customers with that additional peace of mind." Top Safety Tips for Consumers Planning a Move:
- Submit a Change of Address Form and Make a Checklist. In addition to submitting an official Change of Address Form through your local post office, be sure to notify all organizations that you receive mail from on a regular basis. Some of these include your bank, other financial institutions, insurance companies, local government agencies, healthcare providers, schools, publications to which you subscribe, etc.
- Shred Sensitive Documents or Keep Them With You. Don't leave behind any sensitive paperwork, credit card offers or documentation that identity thieves could use if they went through your trash. Transfer all important physical documents personally that will be making the move, such as wills, stock certificates, tax returns, bonds, etc., to a safe and secure place such as a locked box.
- Use a Reputable Moving Company. Take time to read the reviews, research the company and ask friends and family for recommendations. Always check the mover's reputation with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and make sure they are registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), like JK Moving Services, before obtaining an estimate or booking a move.
- Supervise the Move. Make sure you are present for the entire duration of the move. Your presence could deter potential physical and identity theft from occurring and you can rest assured knowing your personal belongings are being taken care of properly.
- Monitor Financial Statements. During and after the move, be sure to monitor your bank and credit card statements for suspicious activity. Consider enrolling in a service like, Identity Guard that can help you monitor activity related to your credit, public records, etc.
†You will be billed $3 for the first 30 days and then $13.99/month thereafter, which averages out to less than $00.50 a day.