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Relax on Your Summer Vacation and Avoid Identity Theft and Fraud



Koester & Bradley Champaign Consumer Fraud LawyersKoester & Bradley's Tips for Safe Travel
Many things have the potential to ruin a well-planned vacation, but identity theft may be may be at the top of the list. Spending time fighting fraudulent charges, closing credit cards, and disputing errors is certainly not how you planned to spend your time off. Unfortunately, every year there are millions of complaints filed with the  Federal Trade Commission. Your chances of identity theft, however, are reduced if you try these  identity protection strategies while enjoying a relaxing vacation:
  • Don't let that Plastic Weigh You Down. Instead of bringing all of your credit cards with you. Only bring the necessary cards while traveling. Also, don’t bring sensitive documents like your Social Security card or passport unless you have to.  Further, if you do need any extra identifying documents, take pictures with your phone or make photo copies.
  • Use Caution and be Reasonable. It’s not healthy to be suspicious of everyone while traveling, but a healthy dose of caution could save you from a stressful situation.  While the money belt and fanny pack may not be practical,  if you are visiting a crowded destination or one that is known for having pickpockets, be mindful of your environment. Also, avoid leaving personal information, such as credit cards, in your hotel room. Instead, put any important items or information in a or a hotel safe.  After all, most thefts are crimes of opportunity and even slight obstacles may deter thieves. 
  • Don't Log In. Another thing to consider is checking your financial statements while on public Wi-Fi. Data on these connections is less secure.  You are not the only person lurking on free wireless networks at the coffee shop.
  • Use A Credit CardCarrying cash may seem easier and safer, but stolen cash is nearly impossible to get back. Also, should your wallet get stolen, fraudulent charges are easier to dispute on a credit card versus a debit card.
  • Communicate with Credit Card Providers. Credit card providers don’t want your cards to get stolen anymore than you do. If they do, they may end up with a large list of fraudulent charges. Tell your credit card provider if you are traveling. Knowing of your travel plans, they can let you know if there are any suspicious transactions that show up.

Nothing can ruin a good vacation like having your identity stolen. Use these tips to maximize your protection and  contact us if you find that you have experienced something unfortunate so we can sort things out. We would like to thank our summer law clerk staff for the research on this article and remind readers about our scholarship.

Quick Tip of the Day: Question Your Doctor to Avoid Medical Errors




Do Your Part to Prevent Medical Errors

Medical malpractice is often time preventable.  In order to receive the highest level of care possible, the patient and doctor must communicate.  Many times, medical malpractice occurs when a patient does not provide all of the relevant facts to the physician, and the physician fails to ask the proper questions to elicit the information.  Without a doubt, the doctor has the obligation to conduct and complete a full evaluation of the client and to arrive at a proper diagnosis.  However, it does not hurt to take the following measure when you meet with your doctor next, to assist them in proving the highest level of care.

1. Write down all symptoms and question that you may have before you see your doctor.  Often times patients can forget pertinent information while in the examination room.

2. Ask your doctor if they have ever been involved in a medical malpractice suit.  There are also doctor rating services that supply this information.

3. Ask what tests need to be run, and if there are other options.

4. Ask about your doctor's experience.  This is especially true when you are considering surgery and your doctor is new to a particular procedure .  A good example is the DaVinci robot which is used for a variety of surgeries.

5. Ask about possible side effects.

6. Ask if you should get a second opinion or see a specialist.

7. Ask about recovery time and therapy.

Feel free to bring a pad and paper into the exam room and document the answers to your questions.  It is also a good idea to create a medical journal to document the conditions and treatments that you may have for your own information and in case of a lawsuit.
With a little planning, you and your doctor can stop medical malpractice before it starts.  Of course, if you are the victim of medical malpractice, contact an attorney.

Koester & Bradley handles many types of medical negligence cases in Champaign Urbana and across Illinois.  Still interested in learning more about medical malpractice in Central Illinois? We do our best to debunk medical negligence myths here.  

Illinois Plaintiffs Lawyer Personal Injury Blog by Koester & Bradley, LLP 

Legal News and safety tips with Illinois Impact from the Accident and Personal Injury Firm Koester & Bradley, LLP


Ryan R Bradley is a personal injury and litigation lawyer based in Champaign County Illinois focused on representing injured clients and businesses navigate the maze of litigation to financial recovery.  

Tom Koester is a personal injury attorney based in Champaign County in Central Illinois focused on representing the injured and victims of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injuries.