There's no question that business travel can help your company take off. But unless you take care with your credit cards while on the road, your identity could go off on its own trip. In fact, there was a new victim of identity fraud every two seconds last year, according to the 2014 Identity Fraud Report by Javelin Strategy & Research, and one in three consumers who received notice of a data breach became a victim of fraud.
One need only look at recent news reports for proof, from the massive Target hacking to one that hit a little closer for traveling 'treps, the breach at hotel operator White Lodging (which manages 168 properties for brands such as Marriott).
But there's no need to cancel that next trip. Follow this home-and-away plan to keep your identity with you, where it belongs.
Before you leave:
Keep in touch with your credit card companies. "We look for any changes in spending patterns," says Brent Reinhard, general manager of Ink from Chase. So add this to your pre-travel to-do list: Call your issuers and let them know when you'll be gone and where you're going. If you do get fraud-related inquiries from your issuer, respond promptly--either to say "no, not me" so they can shut the card down or to let them know that all those charges you racked up while wooing clients are, unfortunately, yours.
But be warned: If you receive a call from your card issuer, listen closely to make sure you're not speaking to a hacker. Phishing scams are prevalent right now. If someone asks for personal information, be suspicious. "If we call to ask you about a transaction, we don't ask for your account number or for personal information," Reinhard says.