This story recently caught our eye: A Cheap Broad’s Travel Tips: A Cautionary Tale by Barbara Rice. It describes a woman’s struggle getting her credit card accounts secured after being robbed of her wallet on the Eiffel Tower.
Tourists are easy marks for thieves who have lots of practice and know the area. They’re not just scouting for cash either – that’s easy. The market for stolen credit card numbers is big business in the age of the Internet. Stolen credit card numbers are quickly sold to other countries and thousands in purchases can be piled up over the Internet in mere seconds – often before the traveler even knows it’s missing.
The above-mentioned article describes how best to be prepared if and when a thief strikes, and this is valuable travel information. Some of the tips are familiar to most travelers. Specifically:
- don’t wear expensive jewelry when traveling
- keep wallets in deep pockets, not in shallow pants pockets
- even better, keep your wallet in a zippered compartment and keep the zipper zipped
- when you withdraw money from an ATM, block the view of your transaction with your body or have your traveling companion stand with you to watch for those who may be taking too much interest in what you’re doing
Additionally, travelers should have the 24-hour global assistance numbers of their credit card and bank card accounts. Each major credit card company and bank has a hot-line if you have to call from outside the U.S., and if you also have your account numbers, they can put a lock on those accounts and often re-issue new cards and have them sent to you.
In short, we found the list of tips at the end of this particular article useful. Of course, our recent post on Tips for Safe Summer Travel mentions some of the same tips, but you can never be too careful about your wallet at home or on the road. In addition to being smart and careful while you travel, some travel insurance plans provide identity theft services, which can help when your identity has been stolen, and passport/credit card services for replacement documents and emergency cash.