Going on holiday? Make sure you have credit monitoring services

We work hard all year round just to get a chance at a nice vacation abroad once or (twice for the lucky ones) a year. I personally can’t wait for summer, just so I can pack my bags and head on out for a couple of weeks of the unknown – far away from the repetitive grey world of work, bills and responsibilities. I remember my parents preparing for our annual summer holidays when I was a kid. They would make a check list and double check everything before we left the house. Passports? Check, traveler’s checks? Check, check. Doors and windows firmly shut, security alarms on, and wallet in a belly bag so that no one could steal it. It was a lot of work, and took a lot of time to make sure that we were safe and our belongings secure before we went on our adventure – but it was worth it because it kept us safe and allowed us to enjoy a good vacation away from our troubles.

Nowadays I sort of follow the same rules, only now, our world has become so different thanks to technology. I love my tech, I am a true techie through and through, to me there isn’t a need that an app can’t meet. And that rings true to my holiday time security list – which now has credit monitoring services added to it. Think about it, you use your credit card to book your tickets, the hotel, maybe a restaurant or some shopping, all in a foreign country, sometimes with language barriers and often in a different currency from our own. Things can get muddled, spending surely gets out of control, and identity theft is at high risk. With credit monitoring services, I check the status of my credit cards anytime and anywhere with an internet connection. The reason that I added credit monitoring services to my holiday check list is because of a rather unfortunate incident that had happened to me a few years back.

I am not a stranger to online security and I am very careful of how I use my credit card and what details I share online – however, after a beautiful 12 day vacation in the sun, I returned home still with no clue to what had occurred while I was blissfully enjoying my summer away. I went to work and continued about my life normally, and by the end of the month had received my credit card reports. I was nervous, because I knew I had overspent, as I always do. However, this time, what I saw almost killed me. Both of my cards were maxed out, I mean fully maxed out beyond believe. I spend more than half the amount that was shown, so where did all these extra expenses come from? I frantically called around for answers, I knew it must have been fraud of theft, so I cancelled my cards and sent my reports to the bank and traveler’s insurance. By the end of the next month, I had received 4 new credit card bills, all under my name, all maxed out into the thousands. To cut a long story short, some crafty scammer had gotten a hold of my personal details, including passport number and credit information. They not only bled me dry with the cards that I owned, but committed identity theft and had 4 new credit cards issued to my name. It took me a long time to clear my name and prove that the debt that was in my name wasn’t mine at all. In the end, I had learned my lesson, with a bit of research I had found the solution.

What are credit monitoring services?

Millions of people fall victim to identity theft each year. Credit monitoring services offer you full coverage if anyone were to steal your identity and go on crazy shopping sprees all on your dime. It will also help you keep track of your own spending, making sure that you keep your credit scores in the clear.

How has it made my life easier?

Next time you are planning on going on holiday think if you are fully covered in every aspect from keeping your home safe, to personal safety and of course the safety of your finances cash or credit card.