Gone are the days when thieves stole purses and wallets and settled for the coins and notes in there. In 2016, more than 791 million identities were reported stolen from American students living abroad. In fact, Americans are most likely to fall victims to identity theft than any other nationality. Today, your credit card, passport, identity card and bank ATM’s are all targets. People traveling abroad for studies are at a higher risk of identity theft. Thieves tend to target students from western countries as they are assumed to be wealthier than any other. Once the fraudsters get their hands on your personal and financial documents, phone, and wallet; chances are that your identity will be stolen and render you a victim of fraud. However, there are measures that you can take to minimize your risks.
Carry Less Valuables
It is highly advisable that you do not carry unnecessary documents when traveling. This includes your credit cards, photo identification, or paperwork bearing vital details. If possible, leave your wallet at home or hide it well within your luggage. Do not put it where it can easily be snatched or stolen.
Keep Copies of Important Documents
You can never be too safe with your documents when in transit. Making copies of all your; VISA, Passport, Student Identity Card, Insurance card, as a precautionary measure is necessary. Email these copies to yourself and leave original documents with a trusted family member or friend whom you can contact from overseas. This way, you can easily organize for the replacement of the documents in case any of them is stolen.
Create a New Email Account For Travel
Creating a new email account is free of charge and only takes a few minutes. As a precautionary measure, creating one to use while studying abroad is a necessary measure. By doing this, you deny them the power to cause havoc. By hacking your private account, they stand a higher chance of accessing your school and financial data.
Take Advantage of Travel Cash Rewards
Anyone can prevent identity fraud when studying abroad. Identity protection service providers advise that students consider using travel cards. These can be loaded with foreign currency prior to travel. This option comes with other benefits besides preventing identity theft. You can avoid bank conversion fees by locking in the current exchange rate. These cash cards can also be used as an ordinary Visa credit card. It is best that you register for this card online so that you can easily deactivate it and also retrieve the stolen money. This denies fraudsters access to your identity or the bank accounts linked to that card. Students overseas are susceptible to theft as they are oblivious and focused on having a good time. For safety purposes, it is best that you avoid public WiFi networks, opt for fingerprint security for your phone, and report immediately in case your documents get stolen. Luckily for students, they can purchase a travel insurance prior to the trip. It covers lost travel documents cash and credit cards. Others additionally cover missed trips, delayed flights, food expenses, emergency/unplanned accommodation in case a student is held up due to lost documents.