This transcript is automatically generated
From the tornadoes that whipped through the south last month to the floodwaters rising along the Mississippi.
Thousands of folks have been displaced leaving their homes and often crucial personal info behind.
Now this opens -- door to identity thieves but there are things you can do to protect yourself.
Here to tell us exactly what you should do is Adam Levin chairman and co-founder of identity theft 9/11 welcome -- great see you again.
-- -- -- -- Now you know I think a lot of people know there's a lot of identity theft and we want to show folks just county cases there were last year some 250000.
That's a ton of cases.
But most people don't think about the risk after a disaster -- why should people be worried then.
-- you should we worry because you've just been ravaged by nature and you don't wanna be ransacked by an opportunist.
If you're living in a danger zone and you're in a shelter.
Or with family and friends it's critically important to have your personal identifying information and your critical documents.
As close to as possible and watch them like a hawk.
Because that's how you identify -- And that's how someone could.
-- evaluate as you.
I've been on so many of these sites whether it's wild fires or tornadoes and -- last thing anybody is thinking about is.
Where is my Social Security card can I find the documents for my bank nobody thinks about that.
You say that's job number one is hold on to those docket documents grabbed them which ones she -- half.
Well you should certainly have your license your passport if possible.
Your Social Security card.
Any critical document that identifies you as you.
So -- the event that you have to prove to somebody who you are in order to replace those documents you can do it.
And also you need them close to you so there's not somebody out there masquerading as you.
Well and -- you know this this is when it's good to have the stuff organized to begin -- You say check your credit report at what point do you do that are.
I guess as soon as there's a problem -- generally I tell people to do it before but if you're a danger zone and a forty.
Suffered a problem you need to look at your credit report right away you can go to annual credit report dot com and get a free copy of your credit report from each of the three agencies.
And here is the smartest tip of all -- -- view you say -- the post office hold your mail.
So you don't have stuff coming into your mailbox while you're not there god knows where you are -- mailbox probably still there.
-- tell me that how that helps.
Well it helps because the last thing you want is an identity thief who's obviously aware that a disaster -- occurred.
Is cruising their neighborhood and looking for is houses were people aren't there.
That mail is coming into and they're looking for sensitive -- pieces of mail they're looking for.
Pre approved credit card offers they're looking for any documents they -- your Idenix.
-- information in them.
-- if them.
Go ahead and -- M and the post office holds the mail or if you find that you're gonna be displaced.
For a significant period of time you may actually wanna get a post box where -- malice collected.
Because you may not know how long it's gonna take you to get back home.
That's a very smart idea and a lot of people don't realize it could take you a long time to get back into your house -- wanna take those precautionary steps.
Now here's something that everybody could benefit from -- -- check your email and your accounts daylight.
Hey it's not just getting your identity ripped off look at the end of the day -- is gonna -- something that you don't think you asked for wanted to get.
You want to make sure you see that will -- This is advice that I try to give people all the time anyway and your daily life is while you're going through social networking sites.
And your email sites you should also be going online and checking your bank accounts -- your credit card accounts to make absolutely sure.
That every transaction you see is yours and it's not an early warning sign.
-- should -- -- victimized also people have relationships with institutions where -- either get texts.
Or email or -- it's telling them when transactions -- occurred unique didn't Elvis.
Yeah my bank does that that's very helpful actually.
-- Adam thanks for the help today great information and something most folks don't even think about appreciate it but.