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If you're planning to travel out of country for a while, ask your credit company to freeze your account, so that no one can open a new accounts in your name. (AP Photo/File)

Protecting yourself from credit card ID theft

It can take years to recover from identity theft. And being on the road makes you all the more vulnerable to thieves.

According to the FTC, as many as 11.1 million people are victimized every year. And many of them don't even realize it until they're contacted by a debt collector.

You need to be vigilant before identity theft becomes a problem.

Never, ever travel with your Social Security card. Once a thief gets a hold of that and your driver's license, they have everything they need to start applying for credit cards.

A credit reporting service like Experian has additional monitoring services that alert you to any changes and will help you dispute charges.

If you're planning to travel out of country for a while, ask your credit company to freeze your account, so that no one can open a new accounts in your name.

Look at your credit card statements each and every month. Identity thieves don't necessarily go out and make big purchases. They may use your credit-card number to make small charges, like under $25, that don't even require a signature.

Peter Greenberg Staff, Travel Today
Find the Peter Greenberg podcast, "Travel Today" anytime on-demand at KIRORadio.com and visit PeterGreenberg.com for more travel tips!
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