How to keep your card safe on holiday

How to keep your card safe on holiday

This blog is general information only. It isn’t advice and isn’t an insight into the views of TSB or any of our Partners.

Keeping your debit and credit cards safe is important wherever you go, whether that’s in the UK or when you’re on holiday abroad. But not every country is as safe as the UK when it comes to card transactions. We look into why that’s the case and what you can do to help protect yourself. 

Never lose sight of your card – or it may be cloned. Not every holiday destination is as safe as the UK when it comes to card transactions.

Counterfeit card fraud is when details from the magnetic stripe of a genuine card are ‘skimmed’ and used to make a fake card. While this type of fraud does happen in the UK, most counterfeit cards are used overseas in countries yet to fully enforce Chip & PIN technology and where older card payment methods are still accepted. This means that losses to counterfeit fraud to UK banks are relatively low at £16.3 million in 2018, which is just 2% of all card fraud losses.  

But by following a few simple steps, you can help keep your cards safe wherever you go. 

Tips to keep your card safe on holiday

1. Never lose sight of your card. This means asking for the card machine to come to you, or you going to the card machine. Don’t worry about this seeming awkward; in places where card cloning is common, the staff will understand.  
2. Cover your PIN with your hand when using an ATM and card payment terminals. Criminals can tamper with ATMs, inserting cameras and other devices to steal your bank card’s magnetic stripe details and PIN.  
3. Have the phone number for your bank handy. This is in case you need to call them for assistance. The number is often on the back of the card, but it’s wise to record it on your phone too just in case. Making sure your details are up to date with your bank will mean they will be able to reach if they need to check some activity with you.
4. Check your statements regularly. This is very easy these days due to the popularity of mobile apps. This will help you spot any suspicious transactions and provide peace of mind. 

Your bank has your back  

Banks will typically cover you whenever there is genuine fraud on your account for which you are not at fault for. But if you’re on holiday, it’s an unnecessary faff. It may be a good idea to keep a back-up card separate from your main card and use it if there’s a problem.  

By following a few simple rules, you can minimise the chance of you being a fraud victim on holiday and enjoy your hard-earned break.   

Everything we publish on Straightforward Money is provided as general information only. It isn’t advice and isn’t an insight into the views of TSB or any of our Partners.
Please think about getting independent financial advice if you want help with your personal situation.
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