Vacations should be fun and relaxing. The last thing you want to deal with while traveling is credit card fraud. However, it’s easy to lose track of your private information or fall victim to a scam while on the road. Follow these tips to stay safe from fraud while traveling:

Carry as Few Cards as Possible

If your wallet gets lost or stolen, it’s important to be able to cancel your cards as quickly as possible. So, if your wallet is filled with dozens of old cards, it will be a lot harder to track down exactly which ones need to be canceled or monitored. To avoid a tricky situation, only bring the cards you plan to use on your trip.

Notify the Credit Union

Before going out of town, notify the Credit Union, and any other credit or debit card issuers, that you’ll be traveling. Doing so will prevent your transactions from being flagged as potential fraud and declined, which can save you a headache once you arrive at your destination. This step will also keep your credit and debit card company accurately alert to any transactions that may be fraudulent.

Be Cautious on Public Wi-Fi

Many travelers rely on free Wi-Fi while at the airport, a hotel, or other busy spaces. However, logging into private accounts while on public Wi-Fi puts your sensitive information at risk. To avoid having your private information intercepted while using the Internet, try setting up a private hotspot or using a VPN.

Check Gas Pumps for Tampering

If you’re on a road trip, it’s crucial to know how to avoid card skimming at the gas station. Card skimming occurs when thieves put small devices on or above the card reader at a gas pump to collect and copy your private information. The best way to avoid a card skimmer is to pay inside, though you can also look for signs of tampering by checking the pump’s security label or card reader for anything that looks suspicious. When in doubt, pay inside.

Keep Your Devices Password Protected

You’re more likely to accidentally lose track of your electronic device while traveling, which is why it’s important to ensure everything is password protected. While on the road, it may also be valuable to delete any saved passwords from your device to prevent anybody from accessing your private information.

Monitor Your Credit and Debit Card Reports

Monitoring your credit and debit card reports is a crucial step in fraud prevention, regardless of whether you’re traveling. To catch fraudulent activity early on, regularly check your statements for any strange or unfamiliar charges. If you notice anything off, be sure to dispute the mistake as quickly as possible and notify your credit or debit card company of fraudulent activity.

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