Although more than half of all moves in the U.S. occur between Memorial Day and Labor Day, many folks, especially those without school-age children, prefer to relocate in months when moving companies are less busy and weather is more temperate. 

identity theftRegardless of when you schedule your move to or from your South Florida home, however, you need to be acutely aware of the increase of identity theft during such a busy time and to take precautions to prevent your becoming a victim of enterprising criminals. Moving often makes it easier for identity theft to occur: we leave information behind that others can use---mail that is not rerouted to our new address, important papers that aren't shredded but left in the trash, or through hiring rogue movers The following steps are essential to ensure your protection:

  • If you are using a moving company, be sure that you know it is a trusted and reliable firm.  Sometimes simply getting recommendations from friends, family members, and real estate agents is not enough.
  • Make a change of address checklist.  Before you move, make sure you take the time to list all companies, institutions, and subscriptions that you receive through the postal system. Click here for a list of those you should include.  Personally notify all financial institutions of your plans to leave your home.  One of the easiest ways that someone can obtain your personal identity is through mail theft.
  • Submit a change of address form to the U.S. Post Office.  Once your form has been filed, double-check the confirmation from the Postal Service to make sure that they list your new address correctly. Your mail should start being delivered to your new residence within seven to 10 business days after you submit a change-of-address filing.  Ask a current neighbor to take in any mail that comes to your old address after you move.
  • Although moving is a good time to discard unwanted personal files, records, and documents, don’t just throw them away; shred them!
  • Make sure your technological “toys”---computers, cell phones, tablets, and the like—are secured by passwords and packed in unmarked boxes.  Better yet, take the computers, hard drives, and other external storage devices with you when you travel to your new home.
  • Say in your current home as much as you can while movers are there.

All this before you actually move into your new home.  After?  Part 2 is coming.

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