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Traveling for the Holidays? Keep Your Info Safe While on the Road.

Thu, 12/22/2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Traveling can be the biggest headache of the holiday season. Don’t make your holiday travel any more of a hassle than it needs to be by becoming a victim of identity theft or a scam. The South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA) has some easy tips you can use while away from home to keep your information and money safe.

  • Leave unnecessary documents and payment methods at home. Don’t travel with all your credit cards, checks, every form of ID you have, etc. Only take the things you know you will need and plan to use. The less you have, the better.
  • Let your bank/credit card companies know you’re traveling. This will help you avoid having to deal with a blocked card in the middle of a trip. Also, let them know where you are going, that way if there are purchases made somewhere you’re not, they will know.
  • Monitor your accounts and set up alerts. Be sure to closely review your financial statements in the weeks and months following your travel.  Set up or double-check your current account alerts so that you get text messages or emails alerting you to activity that posts to your account. If you see or are notified of errors or fraudulent charges, dispute them as soon as possible.
  • Know who to call. If your card suddenly stops working or gets lost, you’ll need to contact your bank to fix the problem. Make a note of your bank’s contact information, especially if you’re traveling overseas, since the toll-free number on the back of your card may not work outside the US.
  • Hold your mail. If you’re going away on a longer trip, consider having the post office hold your mail. This will ensure someone doesn’t steal mail that could contain your private information. USPS mail holds can be scheduled for between 3 and 30 days. You can submit a mail hod request by visiting

For basic steps to consider no matter the type of identity theft, read SCDCA’s Identity Theft Toolkit: What You Need to Do” and “Step-by-Step” guides in the How to Report section of the ID Theft webpage. Consumers who have identity theft questions or who would like help with the steps to mitigate their identity theft situation please contact the Identity Theft Unit for one-on-one assistance. Call (844) TELL DCA (835-5322) or fill out an ID Theft Intake form by visiting