According to information from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), spring and summer are the most popular seasons for Americans to purchase new homes and relocate. With May being National Moving Month, thousands of people throughout the country will be packing up their belongings and taking up residence at a new address.
Even moving locally can have its setbacks
Whether you are moving across time zones or just down the street, calling a new location home involves a lot of hard work and planning, not to mention organization to make sure that none of your belongings get lost in the process. While it may be a nuisance to lose a suitcase full of clothes or a box of dishes during the move, these material losses are nothing compared to losing your identity.
Prioritize what's important to you in the move
Make it a priority to keep financial documents and personal files that have your identification information — such as your Social Security number — safe and sound throughout the entire moving process. Be sure that items like your birth certificate and other identification stay locked up throughout the trip and monitor their whereabouts at all times. If you don't, they could potentially fall into the hands of an identity thief.
Should a criminal get their hands on this material, they could use your personal identification information to open up accounts in your name, then run up massive debt in the process and leave you to foot the bill. This may have an adverse effect on your credit score, making borrowing difficult for you down the line.
Credit monitoring can lend a helping hand
There is hope, however, as you can take steps to keep track of your identity throughout the moving process if you enroll in an identity monitoring program. That way, you can rest assured knowing that there you've got help watching over your financial activity that can alert you to certain activities taking place in your name.
It may be inevitable that there will be some hiccups along the way when you relocate, but you can help make sure identity theft isn't one of them by taking a few precautions before you make your move.