KENNETT, MO (KAIT) – As we hit the road this summer to enjoy our vacations we take a lot of things with us just in case we need them and that could make us targets for thieves.
"A lot of the times when you're getting material at home a lot of people tend to throw away some of the junk mail," said Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder.
What you throw away could contain information you think is not important but can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
"I would try to make it a habit of shredding most of the material that I get through the mail. Shred most of that that's got your name," said Holder.
While being proactive is the best course to protect your personal information it can still happen.
"I don't think there's any sure fire way of keeping someone from getting this information if someone wants to get it," said Holder.
Dunklin County Sheriff Bob Holder said you should always know what you have in your wallet.
"There's just any number of ways that people are stealing other people's identity," said Holder.
One recommendation is to take all the cards out of your wallet and make a photocopy of them, that way if your wallet does get lost or stolen you don't have to worry about what may or may not be inside. When you use an ATM make sure there's not someone standing behind you. Stand in front of the machine and guard the numbers you're entering into it.
"Someone with a set of binoculars in a motel room may be watching you and can pick up your credit card number that way," said Holder.
If you do have your purse, wallet or any form of ID stolen, Holder said you need to file a police report immediately.
Holder said they are seeing an increase in the number of cases of stolen identity. While there are things you can do there is no guarantee you will be completely protected. Holder said in many cases the thief is a friend or family member of the victim.