You’ve made your list and you’ve checked it twice, because that’s what good list makers do. All packed up nice and tight, ready for a little rest and relaxation traveling abroad. For all the precautionary planning and preparing, there is still something that many travelers do not account for in their trip itinerary: personal fraud protection.
A recent Experian® survey showed that 1 in 5 survey participants experienced theft of smartphones, wallets or purses, losing sensitive personal data to law-breaking complete strangers while on vacation. Please don’t fret, we’ve got some tips here to help make your next trip safer for you and your family.
Before you hit the dusty trails, take a minute to take inventory of what you have in your wallet. Keep it simple. Take only what you need for your trip, like your state ID or your passport (NOT your social security card) and only the debit and/or credit card you plan on using. Give your bank or credit card company a heads up that you will be travelling.
Also, make sure you’ve got strong security passcodes on all your electronic devices. Don’t give criminals an easy into your email, bank and credit card accounts with a device that has your passwords saved in it. Also, do some research on smartphone locator apps and choose one that you can use in case your phone turns up missing, stolen, forgotten or lost.
Once you’re actually on the road or out and about at your chosen destination, be sure to utilize ATM machines in established banks. Using ATM machines in high traffic tourist areas can make it easier for scammers to use skimmers on your card. When you punch in your code, make sure to obstruct your hand from prying eyes.
When you are away from your personal items of value, be sure to take advantage of the hotel safe. Also, be sure to turn off your geo-tagging feature on your social media accounts. Seeing that you are potentially halfway around the world from your home can lead to sticky fingered social media savvy crooks to check out your home while you are away.
When you return home from your travels, be sure to keep a close eye on your various financial accounts. If any suspicious or fraudulent charges begin appearing, waste no time contacting your financial institution and credit card companies to report them. File any necessary reports to local and federal authorities, and be sure to alert the credit bureaus as well.
Following these helpful tips should increase your peace of mind the next time you plan on travelling for vacation away from home. After all, if you are going on vacation, isn’t half of it leaving your troubles behind, not taking them with you wherever you are going?