I recently attended an event for Take Five to Stop Fraud organised by Mumsnet. Take Five is a national awareness campaign led by FFA UK (part of UK Finance), backed by Her Majesty’s Government and delivered with and through a range of partners in the UK. The idea of this campaign is to help people to understand how scams work, what type of scams are out there and to stop and think before we give any information or money to strangers. The scams are so clever nowadays that sometimes it can be hard to spot them. We already know the basic things such as never giving away any Pins or Passwords but the truth is that when things are happening you can forget about everything you know very quickly.
I learned a lot at the event and I was very grateful to now be able to spot a scam quicker thanks to Take Five. They really want to make people aware of this and spread their advice all over the country so hopefully, together we can stop the fraudsters from taking advantage of people. That is why I was very happy to be asked to be part of their new campaign which takes place during this week which is TakeFive Week. Banks, organisations, other influencers and campaign partners are also participating. There is a week full of activities and very important and useful information is being shared with everyone so we can all learn as much as we can about this big issue.
There are so many ways to be scammed nowadays such as through the phone which is known as vishing (or voice phishing), through a text message which is known as smishing and through emails which are known as phishing. There are also so many other ways to scam people online as well as methods you perhaps didn’t know before so I really encourage you to go through their website and browse all the advice, and examples they have so you can prevent this happening to you.
As part of the campaign, I am sharing Five Tips to consider before and whilst travelling to prevent being a victim of a fraud or scam. You all know that I love travelling and I have a specific category of Travel on my blog because of that. These are a few tips I have picked up that are good to have in mind if you are thinking of or about to go away. I thought it would be nice to share these tips with you.
Please see below my Five Tips for Take Five week:
1. Book Holidays Directly with Airlines, Hotels or Reputable Agents
Found a great holiday deal? Think twice before you book a deal that seems too good to be true. Fraudsters are using fake online ads, fake booking websites, emails, text messages and calls offering amazing deals to tempt you to book a holiday with them. To avoid being left out of pocket and stuck at home, book your travel directly with an airline or hotel, or through a reputable agent. Check whether they’re a member of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA).
2. Tell Your Bank You Are Travelling
Telling your bank before you travel about where and when you will be going can help you in two ways. Firstly, genuine payments in the country you are visiting will be less suspicious and so not blocked, but also transactions in locations you aren’t visiting or taking place outside of the travel dates are more likely to be seen as suspicious.
3. Avoid Public Wifi When Travelling
We all love free wifi, but public wifi hotspots can be vulnerable to cybercriminals and, if you’re planning to make use of social media, sensitive email accounts or accessing online banking while abroad you should either use a secured connection or data from your own mobile plan. Consider buying a local SIM if using data on your own is too expensive. Remember, if you need to use a laptop, many smartphones have a tethering/personal hotspot option to allow you to use it from another device.
4. Keep Your Cards In Sight
Don’t allow your card out of your sight. Be careful where you leave any bags, wallets or purses. Leaving a card in a bag on a beach chair whilst you take a swim isn’t a good idea. Also, watch your card when you give it to someone else. Card skimmers can be used by fraudsters to take your credit card information in seconds. Your card can be swiped, the data stolen in moments before it is handed back to you. It’s not practical to watch your card every second, so if the card leaves your sight, elevate your account-monitoring efforts.
5. Beware of Cash Machines
If you need to use a cash machine whilst travelling to withdraw money, make sure you pay close attention to all of your transactions. Never let anybody see you entering your PIN and if anyone approaches you or tries to talk to you whilst waiting to use a cash machine it’s probably better to walk away and find another machine. Always check that the machine doesn’t look like its been tampered with, as some scams involve modifying machines with a card skimmer or other device to jam your card.
Finally, I’d like to add that it is a good idea to verify your transactions when you are back home or when you are certain it is safe to do so to be sure there are no unexpected payments or withdrawals from your accounts.
I hope you find these tips useful, and perhaps next time you travel you can bookmark these as a reminder. I feel very excited to be able to support a campaign like this. The more people we can reach the better! Hopefully, we will be able to improve the fight against Fraud! Please also do not forget to check out the advice and tips provided by Take Five.
Do you have any tips that you do before or whilst travelling to prevent fraud? Have you, or anyone you know, been a victim of any kind of scam? Have you spotted and prevented a scam before?
*Disclosure: This is a collaboration with Take Five, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Fab tips here I agree telling your bank when you are travelling is a biggie! So important to be aware of all these points to ensure you can protect yourself as best as possibles
Megan - Truly madly kids says
I don’t think I’ve ever told my bank when I am abroad yet it is so obvious! Of course you should! I agree on the public wifi as well, I never trust it for doing anything confidential!
The Mummy bubble says
I was in NY for a long weekend a few years ago and hadn’t informed my bank. They stopped my debit card. It was a bit inconvenient but a quick phone call and it was working again. Looking back I’m grateful they were so vigilant. Fab tips for travellers here x
Such great tips here, I had no idea about the Public Wifi, will definitely remember that one! I totally agree with keeping cards in sight, my sister recently had her purse stolen while travelling back to the UK from Australia and she thought herself pretty savvy but had let her guard down. xx
This is such great advice – I’ve had my card stopped twice when I was on holiday and it would have been so much easier if I had just told the bank. But equally it’s so nice to know they are vigilant about these scams. It’s so important for us to be extra careful with how we operate online to protect ourselves xx
Susan Smith says
Traveling abroad you have to be so careful, i went away one year and never ever thought to inform my bank, we took some money, but went to use my card to pay for a meal and it got rejected, had to sit there and ring my bank and sort things, it is very important to let your bank know, i never thought to as it meant people knew i wasnt home, something else, dont put holiday snaps on social media when youre away, as its letting people know youre away
Iris Tilley says
Lots of great tips here Thank You
Susie Wilkinson says
Every time I go abroad I end up having to ring my bank after they stop my debit card, I must remember to tell them before I go next time, makes a lot more sense!
kiya johnson says
ive not experienced fraud so i havent got any tips but i love everyone elses tips!
Charlene Merrall says
Fab information! I am always so wary of booking holidays etc online even if it is a well known company it still worries me a bit!
Lisa Pomerantz says
All of this is such really good advice, and it makes me sad that we are so easily scammed by people who cannot seem to put their efforts out in the world for good use. Argh. WIll this ever change? If not, will do everything on that list! xoxo #kcacols xo
Sarah | Digital Motherhood says
Great tips, it’s so easy to get scammed these days isn’t it 🙁 #KCACOLS
Rich Tyler says
Great tips, super useful info!
These are really handy tips Franca. I already do a lot of them. I didn’t know about vishing though. Scary!
We have yet to travel abroad as a family but these are really useful tips to know, especially when using public WIFI! Thank you for sharing this insightful post with us x #KCACOLS
Carolynne @ Mummy Endeavours says
Great, valuable tips. My friend was scammed recently whilst booking a little holiday getaway for the new year. The website and company were legit but the fraudsters intercepted the website somehow and took her payment! Terrible! x #kcacols
Some fab tips here. I never think to tell my Bank we we are travelling! I had a near miss recently with my debit card – luckily the bank called me to confirm the transaction and it didn’t go any further! #KCACOLS
Yes telling the bank it is a must nowadays as they will block your card if they see you are using it in another country because they will assume it has been stolen straight away. Oh thank god you managed to sort it out! It is always a big scare though! X
Mrs Jibril says
such helpful tips, I never thought about not using free wifi while traveling.
I know! It is a good one to be aware of! 🙂 x