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Avoiding credit card fraud whilst on holiday

By Sean Burke Subscribe to RSS | April 19th 2012 | Views:

Credit card fraud has become a significant threat for individuals in the UK over the last few decades. While realising that someone has gained unauthorised use of your credit card at home is dispiriting, it can be much worse when it happens abroad. As a result many banks have issued their customers with advice on avoiding credit card fraud whilst on holiday. Not sure what you can do to boost your protection? Here are a few tips to bear in mind before you travel and while you’re overseas.

First, let your credit card provider know that you’ll be on holiday. That way they’ll know it’s you using your credit card in Spain or Turkey, rather than someone who has stolen your details. If you are able to, let them know when you’ll be returning home too. That way, if they notice activity on your credit card after your return, they’ll be able to alert you that you’ve been a victim of fraud. Moreover, try not to take more than one credit card with you on your holiday. The more cards you have with you, the more you’re exposing yourself to potential fraud.

Once you’re on your holiday, there’s a variety of other steps you’ll need to take to protect yourself. When you’re taking money out of an ATM, use the same precautions as you would at home. For example, make sure the ATM keypad is shielded from the view of anyone around you so no one can spy on your PIN. Don’t write your PIN down anywhere or say it out loud. And if you walk up to an ATM and it looks like it may have been tampered with, don’t withdraw money from it - just to be safe.

If you’re paying a bill in a shop or a restaurant, make sure that the waiter or shop assistant does not walk off with your credit card. If necessary, follow them to the credit card terminal or till to ensure that they’re not discreetly skimming your details. Skimming involves passing a credit card over a machine that reads the card’s magnetic strip and collects its details. This is a popular way that credit card fraud is committed in some overseas countries, and is something to be wary of.

In addition, take care to read what you’ve been charged for. Untrustworthy retailers may add an item that you did not order to your bill or, worse, add an extra digit to the total amount to be paid. For example, you may order dishes in a restaurant worth £40 but adding a surreptitious zero to the total will mean you’ll be charged £400. And if a cashier tells you that they have to process your payment again because it didn’t work the first time, make sure they provide you with a cancellation receipt. Otherwise you might end up making two payments.

If you do become a victim of credit card fraud abroad, you may have to seek legal services to settle matters. Check with your credit card provider to see what action you’ll have to take if you are exposed to fraud, and also ensure that you have a travel insurance policy that covers such outcomes.

Sean Burke - About Author:
The author of this article is a part of a digital marketing agency that works with brands like Shoosmiths. The content contained in this article is for information purposes only and should not be used to make any financial decisions.

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