Summer is right around the corner, the perfect time of year for vacations, travel…and credit card fraud. So while you’re making your summer plans, be sure to bring along these valuable tips to protect yourself against fraud and identity theft.
Only carry the cards you’ll be using on your trip
Credit and debit cards hold sensitive data that fraudsters want to get their hands on, so be sure to guard them carefully. Bring only the cards you will be using on vacation and leave the rest at home. Take one backup credit card with you and keep it stored securely.
Protect your PIN at the pump
Fraudsters are getting very clever about how they steal data. They may tamper with the card readers at a gas station. So before you pay at the pump, check the reader for signs of tampering and see if it looks any different than the readers at other pumps. If you’re using a debit card, avoid entering your PIN on the pin pad by choosing the credit option when you pay.
Stick to ATMs at banks, airports and hotels.
Thieves have been known to place phony ATMs in high-traffic tourist areas, so stick to those near banks, airports and hotels. Always protect your PIN by covering it with your hand while you are entering it, so no one around you can see the numbers you’re pressing.
Tell your bank and credit card companies about your travel plans.
On vacation, your spending habits can change dramatically. Be sure to alert your bank or credit card company about your travel plans – where you’re going and when you’re returning - to avoid having your cards de-activated for "unusual activity." This is especially true if you’re traveling outside the U.S.
Keep an eye on your accounts.
If you suspect your card may have been "skimmed" or otherwise compromised, report any suspicious activity immediately. ATM and debit card transactions are protected under the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, but you’ll need to act fast to limit your liability for fraudulent transactions.
Review your card purchases and withdrawals.
When you return from vacation, immediately review your credit and debit card transactions. Don’t wait for your monthly statements. If a thief has nabbed your card information, you’ll want to alert your bank and credit card companies right away.
At Webster, we are committed to investing in the technologies we need to provide the highest level of online security so you can feel confident your banking information and transactions are always protected.