Protect Yourself From Fraud & Theft When Travelling: Plan, Prepare and Pack
With rest, relaxation and fun on their minds, many Canadians overlook the trouble, headache and inconvenience of theft and fraud that can occur while travelling. Mastercard Canada recommends these tips below to help you be financially prepared and safe wherever you go.
Do some research in advance
That way, you’ll know what to expect when heading to a new destination. Are you sure about what currencies are accepted? What are the average costs for taxis, hotels and restaurants? Is there a Canadian consulate office? Talk to your travel agent, read travel books or websites, and talk to friends and family who have been to the destination before.
Use your Mastercard® for advance bookings
Book plane tickets, hotel reservations, travel insurance or car rentals with your card. If you have trouble with these bookings, your Mastercard issuer can assist you and help secure refunds. Plus, many credit cards come with built-in travel and car rental insurance benefits. Read your cardholder agreement to be sure.
Get travel insurance
Unfortunately, accidents can happen. Consider buying travel health insurance so that you don’t get stuck with medical bills. It can be purchased through your travel agent, who will give you details on what is covered.
Make a record of your passport and credit card information
Be sure to include the contact number to reach your Mastercard issuer in case of emergency. (This information can be found on the back of your card.) Keep this record in a safe place away from your passport and credit cards (i.e., not in your wallet or purse). You may also want to leave a copy of this information and your itinerary at home with a trusted family member or friend.
Clean out your wallet
Taking out everything but the essentials. If your wallet is lost or stolen, the more information a thief has access to, the more damage they can do.
Leave your valuables at home
You don’t want to lose expensive watches and jewellery on your trip. Plus, they can mark you as targets for thieves.
Pack your Mastercard.
A credit card is the safest and most reliable way to spend when you travel. Mastercard is accepted around the world, and cardholders are protected from unauthorized transactions because of a lost or stolen card with Mastercard Zero Liability. Plus, you’ll have a detailed record of your spending when you get home.
Report a Lost or Stolen Card
In the unfortunate case that your card is lost or stolen, Mastercard Global Services® can help. We help you with reporting a Lost or Stolen Card, obtaining an emergency card replacement, finding an ATM location, or answering questions on your account.
Avoid carrying large sums of cash
If your cash is lost or stolen, it’s gone. Before your trip, pick up some local currency for small purchases like a cab ride, tips, or souvenirs. Don’t count on being able to get cash the moment you arrive in the country.
Be cautious of local scams
Criminals often target tourists because they’re more likely to be carrying valuables and are less familiar with local surroundings. Keep an eye on your valuables at all times. Only accept services from legitimate providers and confirm exactly how much something will cost before you buy. Only exchange currency with credible organizations like banks and hotels.
Lock up your valuables in your hotel safe
Or, wear a money belt under your clothes. Never leave your money, credit cards, jewellery, cameras, or other valuables out in the open in your hotel room.