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Safe Banking

How to Stay Safe While Traveling the World

November 2, 2022
6
min read

We’ve got a list of best practices to keep you and your accounts safe while you travel. Both new and experienced travellers can find these tips helpful. So take a read before you book your next adventure.

With so many new sights and experiences, while travelling, it can be easy to let your guard down and find yourself vulnerable to scammers. Unfortunately, seasoned and rookie travellers are easy targets for local scammers in cities around the world.

However, this should not stop your travel plans. Get some helpful tips on how to prepare for your travels and how to stay vigilant, and you can enjoy your trips without fear.

Here’s a list of common travel scams to watch out for while you’re on vacation:

Booking scams

Sometimes the scam starts before you’ve arrived at your destination. The rapid growth of online travel booking services gives scammers another avenue to carry out travel fraud. Be wary of third-party websites offering travel “discounts,” free vacation offers, and online vacation rentals. Ensure that you know the company or institution handling your money—Book your trip through established companies that provide legitimate security measures.

Broken taxis

Have you heard of the broken meter scam? It goes like this: When you enter the taxi, the driver will tell you that the meter is broken so that you can’t see the amount you owe per distance travelled. When this happens, the driver can charge you any price they want because you have no idea what the actual cost of the trip is. To avoid this, ensure the meter is working before you get into the taxi or negotiate a rate once you get in. In addition, many hotels offer free or inexpensive shuttle services to and from airports and train stations. Schedule a shuttle with your hotel in advance of your arrival or departure if it’s available.

Pickpocketing

Pickpockets are common no matter where you are travelling. Scammers use many methods to distract unsuspecting tourists so they can steal bags, wallets, and even cut purse straps. The scammers often work in teams, allowing one person to distract you while the other attempts to rob you. Common tricks include spilling things on tourists or sending young children to swarm you. It’s important to remain as attentive and cautious as possible. Keep your wallet in your front pocket or a money belt and your valuables out of backpack pockets.

ATM scams

Always use ATMs with reputable financial institutions and the proper logos (such as Interac or Cirrus). Even if you recognize the logo, use caution at an ATM. Scammers will alter the cardreader of the ATM to steal your information. Try to wiggle the cardreader where a skimming device may be placed or feel inside the slot for a sticky or plastic slip. If it seems loose or as though the machine has been altered, do not insert your card and look for another machine.  Always shield the keypad when entering your PIN.

4 Ways to Protect Your Money While Travelling

Now that you know the most common travel scams let’s talk about how you can protect yourself.

Before going away on your next trip, take the following steps to ensure that your trip will go as smoothly as possible and that you and your hard-earned money will be protected:

Let your financial institution know you’re travelling

Let your credit union know when you’ll be travelling to ensure your ATM service remains uninterrupted during your vacation. If you’re visiting multiple countries or have any stopovers, it’s best to inform them of each country you’re visiting.

Carry small amounts of cash

When travelling, don’t keep all of your money in one place! Travel with only the cash you’ll need that day in your wallet. Keep the rest of your money somewhere secure, like your hotel safe. Keeping an emergency credit card and your passport stashed away in your hotel safe is also a good idea. This will protect you if your wallet or purse is stolen or missing.

Purchase Travel Insurance

A medical emergency while travelling can be incredibly expensive, so it is always a good idea to be insured. Travel Insurance protects you in case of emergency hospital and medical expenses while travelling. Cambrian offers travel insurance through our insurance partner CUMIS. The application process is quick and easy. Insurance could include wheelchair or crutches rental, room and board costs for a travelling companion, and travel costs to bring a family member to the patient’s bedside.

Don’t use Public Wi-Fi to Access Bank Accounts

It may be tempting to log on to free Wi-Fi at your hotel or in a café to check your bank accounts, but doing so puts you at risk of account compromise. It is easy for hackers to hack public Wi-Fi connections. Keep your banking information secure; use cellular data to log in to your account instead of public Wi-Fi.

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