Traveling during the summer is something that many of us look forward to all year! However, traveling somewhere unfamiliar comes with risks, and it is important to stay vigilant to protect yourself from fraud and theft. We’re here to help you with tips to make sure your travels go smoothly!
1. Purchase a Money Belt or Concealed Wallet
Pickpocketing is a common way thieves steal valuables from tourists. To protect yourself, consider purchasing a money belt or a concealed wallet. Money belts are like flat versions of a fanny pack that are worn under your shirt. This helps keep your valuables out of thieves’ view, and since they are worn, they’re far more difficult to make off with than a loose wallet in your pocket. If a money belt feels too bulky for you, consider a concealed wallet. These can be clipped onto the inside of your pants and are a great light weight solution to combat pickpockets.
2. Less is More
Avoid the temptation to bring all the cards you own. Traveling with too many cards makes it more difficult to realize if one goes missing. Additionally, keep your cards separate while traveling. For instance, leave a card locked in your hotel room when venturing around your destination. The only thing worse than having a credit card stolen is having all your cards stolen stranding you with no way to access your money.
3. Keep Your Card on You or Locked Up
Fraud and theft can happen in an instant. Never leave credit cards in checked luggage. On the beach or at the pool, make sure your card is not left with your things while you swim. Consider using a waterproof bag you can take in the water. Do not leave a card unsecured in your hotel room as cleaning staff have free access to enter. Most hotel rooms have a safe, but if yours does not, speak to the front desk to see if they have a hotel safe or lockers where you can secure your card when not in use.
4. Set Fraud and Purchase Alerts
Remember to set purchase alerts in the BCCU Mobile App for your debit card and the BCCU Credit App for your VISA Platinum card. Purchase alerts will send you a text to let you know when a transaction meets certain criteria, such as international transaction or when a card isn’t present (such as over the phone or online). All credit and debit cardholders are automatically enrolled in fraud alerts if we have your cell phone number on file. You’ll get a text alert so you can let us know right away if the purchase made wasn’t you. If you have opted out of fraud alerts, remember to opt back in before traveling.
5. Contact Us before Traveling
Planning to travel this summer using your BCEFCU VISA Platinum Credit card or Debit card? Before departing, remember to contact Member Services or the VISA Department at 410-828-4730 or 800-234-4730. Give them the dates and places you will be visiting. For added security, certain countries are “blocked” from transactions using credit and debit Cards. If you will be visiting one of these countries, you can also ask us to remove the block while you are traveling.