We tend to overlook some things when we are preparing to travel, but taking the proper precautions to avoid any potential fraud from occurring while you’re away for an extended amount of time should be a priority.

As someone who used to work in the credit card fraud industry, identity theft and financial fraud can be very stressful and hard to recover from.

Here I’m providing some helpful tips to consider implementing that can assist in reducing the risk of fraud during travel.

Prior to leaving:

  • Only take the necessary debit/credit cards and the proper identification you’ll need during your travel.  Leave your social security card and any other cards in a safe place in your home or with someone you trust.
  • If you plan on taking any electronic devices that have any of your personal information, be sure each device is protected with passwords to prevent access to it in the event a device is lost or stolen.  Apple devices have a mechanism in place to where you can set your devices to erase all data when a certain amount of failed login attempts occur.
  • Contact your banking institution to set up a travel alert (especially if it will be international travel) so they can put a travel advisory or notification on the account you plan to use.  Some banks now allow this to be set up online. *Be sure to contact them immediately upon discovering a lost or stolen card to freeze or close the account to prevent any fraudulent charges.

While away:

  • Choose your WIFI connections wisely.  If connecting to WIFI does not require a password to access it, don’t trust it. It’s a strong possibility that it is not a secure connection.  Utilize mobile banking.  Use your bank’s app on a secure and encrypted connection instead of accessing your account in a web browser on an unsecure connection.
  • If you need to access cash, go to an actual bank to conduct the transaction or use an ATM at the bank; never use a freestanding ATM, to prevent the risk of skimming.
  • Lock up your sensitive documents and other valuables in your hotel safe if you don’t have a need to carry them on your person.

Hopefully these tips will give you a good starting point in safeguarding your identity and financial well-being.

Check out the privacy and security tools your banking institution provides on their website to learn how they can help keep your information as secure as possible.

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