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Entertainment

How to Protect Yourself from Credit Card Fraud When Traveling

Imagine you’re on a dream vacation, when you get a notification about possible credit card fraud. Suddenly, your credit card is frozen, and you need to call your bank to sort out your charges.

 

Avoid stress and inconvenience. Follow these simple steps for safeguarding your financial information before, during, and after any trip.

Before You Leave: Improve Security for Credit Cards

A hand holds a mobile phone with the screen using the X social media application.

Be careful sharing vacation plans and personal info on social media. It can make you vulnerable to text scams and phishing.

Lower the risk of credit card fraud by including these tips in your pre-travel checklist.

1. Notify the credit card company of your travel plans.

Inform your bank of your travel dates and destinations to help them monitor for fraudulent activity. This also prevents them from freezing your card for unusual foreign transactions.

2. Update your contact information.

Check the email or phone number you provided when you applied for your credit card. Keep the information up to date, so your bank can quickly reach you if there's suspicious activity.

3. Save your credit card's customer support details.

Report credit card fraud immediately to minimize financial losses. Add your bank's hotlines and email addresses to your phone contacts, not just in your notes app or a physical notebook.

4. Set up mobile alerts.

Go to your bank's app to enable SMS notifications for every credit card transaction.

 

To receive these notifications, avoid removing your SIM when you travel. If you need to make international calls, use Globe’s roaming promos.

 

If you're travelling to the Philippines, check out the Globe Traveler eSIM, which you can buy and set up via the GlobeOne app. The app can also check if your phone supports eSIM.

5. Review the bank app’s security features.

Some bank apps offer the ability to instantly block credit card purchases in case of a stolen or lost credit card. This feature is particularly useful during trips, when it may be inconvenient to call your bank right away.

6. Choose the credit cards you’ll bring.

As much as possible, bring just two credit cards: a primary card and a backup. Store them in different wallets or leave one in the hotel safe.

During Your Trip: Prevent Unauthorized Access

A hand holds a credit card at an airport.

Take digital pictures of the front and back of your credit cards. Store them in a password-protected device or cloud storage.

Whether travelling locally or abroad, these mindful habits can protect your financial information.

1. Use a money belt or concealed wallet.

Consider using an RFID-blocking wallet or card case. This protects your cards from electronic pickpocketing, because the material prevents RFID readers from accessing your financial information.

2. Stay alert during credit card transactions.

Always check the amount before using your credit card on a point-of-sale (POS) device. If you had to hand over your credit card to a server, ensure you receive the right card back and that it hasn’t been tampered with.

3. Monitor your credit card transactions.

Check your transactions at the end of the day to identify false charges from errors or credit card scams. This will also prevent any surprises when you get your credit card statement later.

4. Use ATMs in secure areas.

Do you need to use your credit card to withdraw money? Protect yourself from credit card fraud caused by “ATM skimming.”

 

Scammers may attach devices that steal data from the card’s magnetic stripe. These are usually concealed in the ATM’s card reader or keypad.

 

Pick ATMs in banks or well-lit, secure areas. Avoid standalone ATMs in tourist spots, which are more susceptible to tampering.

 

Examine the machine for unusual features or loose parts. Cover the keypad while entering your PIN.

5. Avoid using public WiFi for online banking.

Public WiFi networks don't require a password or authentication. Transmitted data is often unencrypted, allowing hackers to read sensitive information.

 

If you must connect to a public WiFi network, avoid making transactions on a website without a lock symbol or "https" in the URL. Reputable sites use these security protocols to encrypt and protect your login credentials and credit card numbers.

 

Check this article for more internet safety tips.

After You Return Home: Monitor for Suspicious Activity

Young male holds credit card while on his laptop at home.

Some credit card scams make small charges over a long period, so always check your statements.

After your trip, take these extra steps to secure financial information or catch unusual charges.

1. Change your passwords.

Your device or account might have been compromised while traveling, and you may only realize the unauthorized access once you receive your credit card statement. Changing your password prevents scammers from using an old password.

2. Stay vigilant about unexpected emails, calls, or texts.

You may receive messages to verify supposed international transactions. Delete them if they ask for personal and account details or have links or attachments.

 

Financial institutions will only ask for your personal and account information when you initiate the call. They’ll never ask for your username and password or one-time PINs (OTP). Some banks have removed links from SMS or emails they send to their clients for added security.

3. Review credit card statements thoroughly.

Double-check each charge made during travel dates. Save receipts for reference in case of an anomaly. Report discrepancies to your bank or credit card company immediately.

Next time you plan a trip, don't forget to bring the GCash Card for peace of mind. This handy travel companion is a debit card linked to your GCash account and powered by Visa. You can make purchases in over 200 countries and withdraw money with a good foreign exchange rate. Plus, you can track all your transactions in real-time through the GCash app.

 

Remember, a little vigilance can reduce your risk for credit card fraud. Use these tips to protect your financial well-being and enjoy a worry-free adventure!

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