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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Inauguration Day Offers a Good Reminder to Be Safe in Large Crowds

On Monday, January 21, 2013, President Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second term as Commander in Chief at the 57th Presidential Inauguration on Capitol Hill. When the president first took office back in 2009, The Washington Post estimated there were more than 1.8 million individuals in attendance at the ceremony, making it the largest crowd ever to gather for an event in the history of the District.

Although most analysts don't expect the audience at this year's inauguration to surpass that of the one from 2009, the masses are still expected to come out in droves to witness history. This means that thousands of strangers will be forced to mingle amongst one another on the big day, making them prime targets for personal theft.

Guard your identification at all costs from crowds
Even though the 57th Presidential Inauguration is a cause for celebration, any event where there are massive crowds gathered together makes people more vulnerable to pickpockets or other kinds of thieves. Should a criminal get a hold of your driver's license or credit card by taking your wallet, they could use these items not only to run up debt on your accounts but also steal your identity.

Keep personal identification with you en route to events
When you are traveling to any large event, do all you can to make sure your items are kept safe throughout the trip. Don't leave any forms of identification in your luggage, as you cannot guarantee its security between your point of departure and your final destination. Also keep in mind that, even if you do keep these documents in a carry-on, mistakes can happen, and your bag may be picked up by the wrong owner by accident.

Invest in protective gear before making the trip
When you actually arrive at your destination, make sure you always keep your identification securely attached to you at all times. A purse or the pocket of your pants may not suffice, so consider investing in wallet holders that strap these items securely underneath your jacket so that a pickpocket won't be able to snatch it off of you so easily.

One more thing to consider: before embarking on your journey, enroll in an identity monitoring program. This will help you keep track of your credit reports and possibly alert you to certain behavior in your accounts that may signal identity theft.