Dreaming of a vacation? Whether you're planning a short road trip or a week-long stay at a seaside resort, it's important to be aware of the risk of travel fraud. Keep these helpful travel tips in mind before your next trip!
Don't fall for “prize vacation" scams
If you receive an email, phone call, text or letter that claims you've won a luxury vacation, be suspicious. Scammers often use fake prize notices to commit fraud and identity theft. The scammer may ask you to pay an upfront fee or provide your personal information to collect your “prize." As always, if an offer seems too good to be true, it probably is!
Consider travel insurance
Before booking flights and hotels, read the fine print, especially the company's cancelation policy. You might also consider getting travel insurance to protect against the unexpected. This way, if you have to cancel or reschedule your travel plans, you'll be able to get your money back or receive credit for future use.
Protect your identity while traveling
Before packing your bags, take these steps to reduce the chances of identity theft:
- Pack light. Only bring one or two credit cards and leave your checkbook and Social Security card at home. If you're flying, make sure you pack any personal documents and valuables in your carry-on bags, not your checked luggage.
- Keep your wallet or purse close. To prevent pickpocketing, keep your wallet or purse close to your body. If traveling abroad, consider wearing a money pouch or belt to store your passport, credit cards and cash.
- Save your receipts. Bring an envelope to keep ATM and credit card receipts. They will come in handy if you need to dispute any fraudulent charges later.
- Be careful when you connect. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks for online banking or bill paying. Scammers can easily hack public Wi-Fi to access users' information.
- Check your account statements. When you return from a trip, keep an eye on your credit card and account statements. Report any suspicious charges or activity right away.
What to do if your identity is stolen while traveling
If you think there's a chance your identity has been stolen, take the following steps:
- Call WPCU's Member Help Center immediately at (800) 762-0047. We can help you protect and secure your accounts.
- File a police report with local law enforcement.
- File a consumer complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) online at FTC.gov or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
No matter if you're at home or on vacation, Wright-Patt Credit Union is always here to help you protect your personal and financial information and avoid becoming a victim of fraud! For more fraud prevention tips, visit WPCU.coop/StopFraud.