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How to Avoid Travel Scams

July 5, 2018 by Space Coast Credit Union

Many people look forward to the summer because it is an exciting time to travel; however, it is considered a peak season for fraud. Here are tips to help protect you while you enjoy making your vacation memories: 


Before You Travel

Travel planning is essential for the ideal get-away, and you may come across exciting offers while browsing through potential destinations. You should be careful before you make a payment or provide your personal information for bookings. Be on the look-out for:
  • Vouchers for “free trips” or travel prices that seem too good to be true
  • Requests for personal information
  • Websites that appear strange or fake
Social media is a common target fraudsters use to deceive users. For instance, you come across a Facebook post with detailed information on how to obtain a voucher for a free trip, under the condition that you share the post and enter your personal information on a third-party’s website. And once you have entered your contact information you get flooded by telemarketers and spam emails, or worse get your information stolen.

Protect Your Personal Information and Valuables 

An important consideration while traveling is to make sure you protect your personal information, including your money, credit and debit cards, and passport. When exploring an unfamiliar location, it is recommended that you do not carry anything on you that can be easily snatched, or any bag that can be opened without notice. Use instead a money belt or fanny pack to carry your valuables to reduce the chance of getting your information stolen.  
Consider using a primary credit card when you are away from home for an extended period of time, so you can better track expenses and identify charges that may seem out of the norm. It is also a good idea to make two additional copies of your valuable information (passports, driver’s licenses and credit cards), and store them in a safe location in case of an emergency. 
When you are on the road, within crowded spaces such as airports and bus stations, be mindful of your personal space and keep an eye-out, as pick-pocketing is one of the most traditional fraud tactics.

Protect Yourself with These Safety Tips

As your Members’ Watchdog, we encourage you to follow these safety tips to help reduce the chance of getting scammed while traveling. 

Notify SCCU of Your Travel Destination – It is important to notify us that you will be traveling out of the area before you leave to avoid the inconvenience of having card transactions declined due to suspicious card usage. We will be able to unblock your card for use in those locations during that time-frame. Also, make sure we have your most up-to-date mobile phone number so we can contact you if fraud is suspected. 
Know Your Wallet –  Organizing your wallet is a safe way to mitigate the risks of fraud:   
  1. Take note of the items that you normally carry in your wallet. 
  2. Carry a minimal wallet with just your essential items as a cautionary measure. Have back-up payment sources and documents stored separately.
  3. Use a credit card for purchases instead of a debit card.  
  4. Separate your money with different methods of payments; having a reasonable amount of cash on hand can be helpful at cash-only locations and stores.
  5. Keep copies of important credit cards, driver’s licenses, passports and insurance cards in a safe place, or with a trusted person while you are traveling. 

2Way Text Fraud Alerts for Card Fraud – SCCU offers 2Way Text Fraud Alerts for your SCCU Visa® debit and credit cards. We notify members in real-time through text message upon detecting possible fraudulent activity on their cards. As a courtesy, all SCCU debit and credit card holders are automatically enrolled in this FREE fraud service, with the choice to opt-out by texting “Stop” when they receive a fraud text alert from us. 
Space Coast Credit Union is watching out for your financial interest by providing you with resourceful information to remain vigilant against fraud. 
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