Farmers Insurance Warns: Protect Your Identity if Traveling this July 4th

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The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year.

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Here are some solid suggestions that will help you and your family stay I.D. safe while enjoying your holiday vacation.

If you are traveling far or close to home to beat high gas prices this July 4th, Farmers Insurance warns: protect your identity by taking precautions before and while you travel that might save you a lot of headaches during or after you return.

The Federal Trade Commission estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year. In fact, you or someone you know may have experienced some form of identity theft that took months, maybe years, to straighten out.

“There are simple things you can do this holiday whether you travel near or far, to make sure your identity isn’t stolen,” notes Jeff Dailey, Farmers Executive Vice President and President of Personal Lines. “Here are some solid suggestions that will help you and your family stay I.D. safe while enjoying your holiday vacation.”

  • Before you leave, make a copy of all of your personal information numbers like driver’s license, credit cards and other identification information that you will use on your trip and leave the information with a trusted friend or relative. That way, if you lose your cards, you can call and get the information needed to start a quick recovery.
  • Minimize the number of credit cards you take with you. Use only one card the whole trip, and just keep one more as backup. Leave all the rest of your credit cards at home in a safe, or somewhere you know will be safe.
  • Notify the company of the credit card you will use, where you will be traveling.
  • If you are driving, or rent a car, always make sure you lock the car when you park. Do not leave laptops, personal papers, packages garage door openers or any identifying papers on the seats.
  • Do not leave papers, passports, laptops, cell phones or any other items with access to your identification information in your hotel or motel room. Lock them in a room safe, or leave them in the hotel or motel safe. Remember, many people may visit your room to clean, or turn down covers while you are out. Leaving any identification lying around is very tempting.
  • Do not leave identity papers in your clothing that you hang up in your hotel or motel room. Make sure you empty your pockets and put any identification information in a safe place.
  • When using your credit card, make sure you are not surrounded by people who may have cell phone cameras or other items that can quickly record your identification number on your card.
  • When purchasing gas, make sure the credit card receptacle at the pump is attached to the pump. The credit card holder should not be loose or look like a temporary card holder.

“If you follow the precautions you should have a safe holiday,” Dailey continued. “Since Identity Theft is the fastest growing crime in the world today, Farmers insurance has developed comprehensive identity theft coverage. Farmers Identity Shield not only helps you restore your identity after an identity fraud, but also provides the tools to alert you when such activity begins. Those who have experienced its devastating effects know how hard it is to fix and how much time it takes,” he added.

Dailey explained that Identity Shield includes a 24/7 advocate to guide and assist victims. An expert also is on call to answer any questions policyholders may have about identity theft. “There is much more, including assistance in replacing lost, stolen or damaged identification documents and prevention tips,” Dailey said.

For more information on identity theft and how to prevent it, contact your local Farmers agent or visit http://www.Farmers.com

Farmers Group, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zurich Financial Services, an insurance-based financial services provider with a global network of subsidiaries and offices in North America and Europe as well as in Asia Pacific, Latin America and other markets. Farmers® is the nation's third-largest Personal Lines Property & Casualty insurance group. Property and casualty products are underwritten and issued by the Farmers Exchanges and their subsidiaries, which Farmers Group, Inc. manages but does not own. Headquartered in Los Angeles and doing business in 41 states, the Farmers insurers provide Homeowners, Auto, Business, Life insurance and financial services to more than 10 million households. For more information about Farmers, visit our Web site at http://www.farmers.com.

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