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Protecting your cards

Being a victim of theft, fraud or not being able to use your cards can be a huge inconvenience, especially if you are abroad. However, following common sense precautions before, during and after your trip overseas can help minimise your chances of being a victim.

If card issuersdetects unusual spending patterns on your card they may try to contact you to check that the transactions are genuine, and they may even block your card from being used if they cannot get in touch with you.

Here are some simple tips that can help ensure your time overseas is hassle-free:

Before you go overseas

  • Take with you only those cards that you intend to use; leave others in a secure place at home.
  • Make sure you have your card company’s 24-hour contact phone number with you, in case you need to contact them because of any difficulties. The number will be on your card statement or on their website.
  • Make sure your card company has up-to-date contact details for you, including a mobile number.
  • If your cards are registered with a Card Protection Agency, ensure you have their contact number and your policy number with you.

When you are overseas

  • Don’t let your card out of your sight, especially when using it in restaurants and bars.
  • Don’t give your PIN to anyone – even if they claim to be from the police or your card company.
  • Shield your PIN with your free hand when typing it into a keypad in a shop or at a cash machine.
  • Only withdraw money from a cash machine as you need it rather than carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Consider wearing a concealed money belt to keep your cards, cash and travellers' cheques safe.

When you get back

  • Check your card statements carefully for unfamiliar transactions (from the time you were away and any concurrent unfamiliar transactions). If there are any, report them to your card company as soon as possible.
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