With all the hustle and bustle at a conference, it’s easy to become distracted and let your guard down. While you are running around making sure that registration is going smoothly, making sure your clients, supporters, exhibitors and delegates have everything that they need, worrying about your valuables is the last thing you need to think about.
Many people are under the impression that the best place to hide their personal belongings during a conference is under a registration table. This, however, is one of the biggest no-no’s when it comes to protecting yourself from thievery. Never leave your valuables unattended, even if you think they are in a safe hiding place. Someone could be watching you and waiting for you walk away. The next thing you know, your purse is much lighter than it used to be. Your wallet is gone along with your cash, credit cards and photo ID. Now, instead of being able to focus on the job, you are worried about how much financial damage is going to take place as well as the fact that you have just been personally violated. It’s a scary feeling.
Here are some important tips on how you can help avoid becoming a victim of theft when working onsite:
• Utilize your badge holder for something other than just the badge. Lock your valuables up in your in-room safe and put your room key in your badge holder.
• If you require more than will fit in your badge holder, consider carrying a fanny pack or small backpack. Your wallet and any other valuable items will be strapped to you at all times so there will be no worry about someone else picking them up.
• If you can’t live without your purse, do not – under any circumstance – leave it unattended.
If you do find that you’ve become a victim of theft and your wallet is gone, here are the steps that you should take to protect yourself from identity theft:
• Call the police – file a report with hotel security
• Call all of your credit & debit card issuers to cancel your cards
• Report your missing ID card
• Call the 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and Trans Union) to request a fraud alert
• If you had checks in your purse contact the major check Verification Services
• Pull a credit report about 3 months later