Sunday, October 22, 2017
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Keep summer travel safe

The only thing hotter than the summer sun is summer travel. As families and friends take to the road, it’s an ideal time for scam artists and thieves to target homes, luggage and your money. By planning ahead and being diligent, you can keep your summer vacation all sunshine and smiles.

  • Make copies of all of your credit cards; important identification information, including your medical insurance cards; and your traveler’s checks. Take one copy with you (pack it separately from the cards themselves) and leave one copy at home.
  • Carry little to no cash with you. Bring most of your money in the form of traveler’s checks or plan to use your credit cards while on vacation.
  • Never put your home address on your luggage tags. Write your phone number instead.
  • Make sure all of the doors and windows to your home are secured and locked. If your home has an alarm system, arm it when you leave for your vacation.
  • Never post your travel plans on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or any other social media.
  • Hold your mail and newspaper deliveries.
  • Use automatic timers to turn your lights on and off.
  • Park your car in areas that are well lit and as close to your destination as possible.
  • Always close all of the windows and lock the car doors. Keep all valuables out of view by locking them in the trunk, tucking them under the seat or placing them on the floor and covering them with a blanket. Never leave your wallet, purse or checkbook in the car. Always keep them with you.
  • If you are driving and become lost, do not stop on the side of the road to check the map. Drive to a brightly lit, public place to do so.
  • Never leave your car unattended with the motor running.
  • If you are going sightseeing, ask at the hotel front desk if there are any areas you should avoid.
  • Only take the cash you need for the day with you. Leave the rest, and all other valuables, locked in the hotel or motel safe.
  • Never display large amounts of cash when making a purchase. The money you keep with you should be in small denominations.
  • When you check into your room, make a mental note of the locations of the stairs and fire exits.
  • Never open your hotel room door to anyone without first checking with the front desk. Impersonating maintenance or housekeeping is a common trick perpetrators will use to gain access to the room.
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