Protect Your Credit Card Information While Traveling

By Eliza Daglish on April 1, 2013

traveling with credit cardGoing on holiday is supposed to be a relaxing and care-free time: spending time with family, enjoying local entertainment and food while partaking in all of the fun to be had at your destination. Unfortunately, there are people all-around who are constantly seeking to defraud people – and there may be no better place to do so than the location in which you are staying.

Prying eyes and false information can be spotted all over hotels and motels, so it is important to be vigilant and know what to avoid. Below are three of the most commonly used traps to snag your credit card information while on holiday.

Room Service Calls

One of the ways in which thieves obtain your credit card information is by pretending to be part of the hotel staff. The snag works by the thief calling directly into your hotel room (many rooms have a base prefix with a number based by room), posing as customer service. They will proceed to tell you some story about how their payment system has crashed and they need your information again. Unknowingly, many people provide their credit card information over the phone without considering the implications. If you get a call, be safe: check with the front desk before giving out any credit card details.

Free Wi-Fi

With many hotels now offering complimentary Wi-Fi, many travellers will be eager to access the network. Unfortunately, some of these so-called free hotel networks are imposter networks set up to look like the hotel network. Individuals may be using the Wi-Fi to purchase goods and thus be susceptible to having their information stolen – but it doesn’t stop there. Digital wallets, email and any other sensitive information on your wired or wireless devices may also be up for grabs. Always check with the front desk to verify which network – if any – is the real hotel Wi-Fi network.

Food Delivery Menus

Leaving restaurants menus at the front desk or under the doors of individual hotel rooms is a great way thieves gain access to your credit card information. You call in to make an order, give the person on the other end of the phone your credit card details, and wait for the food to arrive: but it never does. You just gave your financial information to a thief. Avoid ordering from single-page menus and fliers: verify that the entity exists via the internet or phone book and call that number instead.

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