Safeguarding your identity when you are on the move

Preparing for a cross-country or cross-town move is a lot of work … a stressful time for anyone. That’s why it’s critical to make sure your identity moves safely with you and your belongings. All it takes is a little added caution before, during and after the move.

Before you move, you should notify the U.S. Postal Service, IRS and businesses you deal with. Fill out a change of address form online at moversguide.usps.com. Also be sure to notify employers, financial institutions, creditors, utilities and any catalog or magazine you subscribe to. Complete the IRS Change Request Form 8822, available online at www.irs.gov, to assure receipt of refunds and IRS correspondence.

Security experts recommend hiring a shredding company before hiring a mover. During a move when there are piles of papers to discard, a professional shredding company can reduce paper waste into confetti in minutes.

Scan as much as possible. It doesn’t makes sense to transport and store unnecessary boxes. Scanning important documents eliminates the need to keep countless paper copies. Plus, scans are much easier to access from a home computer after the move.

Make sure important items stay close at hand and out of the moving van. This includes purse, wallet, credit and debit cards, passports, birth certificate, medical records, insurance policies, financial records, computer backups, software and airplane tickets.

A month after your move, check to make sure old accounts are closed and mail is coming to the new residence. This includes credit information, loan documents, bank statements, and retirement account information.

Three months after the move, it’s a good idea to get a copy of your credit report. For details, visit www.annualcreditreport.com.

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