Tips to Avoid Fraud While Traveling
It’s summer time which means vacation and travel plans are gearing up for many families. We have some tips to avoid becoming a victim of fraud during those travel times so that you can worry less and focus on fun!
1. Travel Notifications, Cards and Spending
Have you ever gone on a trip and had your card denied? This is not the best way to start your vacation. Make sure to notify all your financial institutions that you will be traveling if you plan on using your debit or credit cards through them. This allows them to place travel notes on your card to ensure your transactions go through. Always take a backup card just in case the primary card becomes unavailable. It is recommended that you do not go out of your normal spending habits, as it could appear to be fraudulent transactions trying to go through.
2. Avoid Using Public WiFi
In most places that you travel to or visit, there is usually quick access to free public WiFi. Think twice however before checking your bank account while connected. Accessing free WiFi makes it easy for fraudsters to hack into stored information on your phone or laptop. If you absolutely need access while traveling, talk to your cell phone carrier about how to set up your own WiFi hotspot.
3. Passwords and Tracking
Smartphones are our main source to access information and communicate with others; whether it be through texting, apps, or email. These small devices can hold a lot of sensitive data and possibly even credit/debit card information through quick paying apps or your banking app. Make sure to add a password to access your phone and change it often while traveling to avoid fraud from occurring if your phone is lost or stolen. It is also suggested to have your tracking/location on so that your phone can be tracked should it be lost or stolen.
4. Social Media Posting
Going on the trip of a lifetime and want to post all about it down to the exact location? This may be tempting because you want to share your experiences with family and friends. Unfortunately, posting your trip on social media allows for easy tracking where bank accounts could be targeted, or a home break-in could occur. Make sure to lock all your valuables, sensitive information and any banking information (statements, extra cards, checks) in a secure location to avoid theft and possible fraud.
5. Protect your Home
Not all fraud occurs from hackers trying to get into your phone from free WiFi. Some fraudsters are in your same town and notice your mail or newspaper deliveries piling up, which is a sign that no one is home. We suggest having a temporary stop placed with the US Postal Service for mail and other deliveries so that no sensitive information such as bank statements, credit cards, or checks will be delivered or could be easily accessed by the wrong person. It is also suggested that you do not carry sensitive documents while traveling (SSN Card or Birth Certificate) or, if you must take them to ensure those are locked in a secure location to avoid becoming a victim of identity theft.
If you need assistance or believe you have been a victim of fraud when traveling, please contact a Rogue Representative at 800.856.7328 to assist you.