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The Resource Center Identity Theft & Protection | article

Leave the Purse at Home on Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday with many American ties. Historically, many experts believe that had the Mexican Army not defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, it could have had a disastrous affect on the outcome of the Civil War, with the French Army potentially supporting the Confederacy and toppling the Union. Instead, the nation united yet again, and Mexico went down its own path to democracy, making May 5 a day to remember for both countries.

A major holiday for the U.S. and Mexico
This is why, according to the American Journal of Culture, there are more than 150 official Cinco de Mayo events held every year in 21 different states for people of all ages. While this holiday is marked by raucous partying in some circles, it is first and foremost a significant cultural event that honors and reflects on Mexican heritage.

If you are attending one of the many Cinco de Mayo celebrations taking place across the country in the coming weeks, you should consider doing all you can to enjoy the festivities without having to worry about the safety of you or your party. One event you should especially take precautions against is identity theft.

Don't make yourself a target by bringing too much
When you go to one of these festivities, avoid bringing unnecessary identification, credit cards or debit cards with you. Basically, make your wallet as empty as possible so that you don't have to worry so much about having your personal identification information compromised should it get lost in a crowd.

Any items that you do bring with you should remain on your person at all times. Don't, for example, bring a pocketbook to the festival, as you could easily leave it behind at a picnic table or it could be snatched up by an opportunistic thief. By keeping just cash and your license in your back pocket or a fanny pack, these important documents will be with you at all times throughout the day.

A great way to keep track of some sensitive materials, like your credit card, is to enroll in an identity monitoring program. This will act as a second set of eyes watching over your finances and alert you to certain account activity that could potentially be the work of an identity thief.