Vacationers and tourists provide a vast feeding ground for all sorts of crooks: from the simple pick-pocketing specialist to the hotel room burglar to the e-thief: credit card skimming and computer crimes. You can even have your identity stolen while sunning
on that white beach.
Avoid Traveling Scams with These Tips
- Don’t post your vacation or other travel plans on social media. Thieves peruse social media to see who will be out of town and when.
- Protection begins before the trip. Put a vacation hold on your snail mail.
- Beware of hotel room scams. A person posing as front desk staff will call random hotel rooms to sucker travelers into giving up their credit card number. Never give private information over the hotel phone.
- When using public Wi-Fi, encrypt your activities so that hackers can’t pluck them out of the air.
- Always know where your mobile phone is, and have it protected with a password.
- Must you always pay with a credit or debit card? Cold cash can’t be hacked into. But I still prefer credit over debit cards (and even cash).
- Don’t withdraw more cash than you need. Don’t take out wads of high bills because you “might” spend a lot of money. And use an ATM at a bank, not a public kiosk.
- When you do use a card (credit, not debit!), do not let the server or sales clerk walk out of your sight with it. You just never know who might be an “inside” thief.
- As soon as you can upon returning from traveling, check your credit card statements for suspicious activity.
- Leave the expensive jewelry, handbags, etc. at home. A thief has a lot of interest in a well-dressed person who acts like a tourist. If you want everyone to see how exorbitantly styled you are, you’ll have to include muggers and other thieves in that group.