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Card Safety Abroad

Most frauds involving payment cards happen in the UK rather than abroad, while the victims of card frauds abroad usually had their cards compromised at home. However, British travellers are recommended to take extra care of their payment cards and other valuables when outside the UK as well.

To avoid becoming a victim of card fraud abroad, you are advised to:

Bring only payment cards you intend to use. Cards make travelling safer because they can immediately be blocked if lost or stolen. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to leave all unnecessary cards at home. In case you are stolen your wallet you don’t have to block and replace all your cards.

Leave your cards and valuables in a hotel safe when not needed. A hotel safe is a much better idea than hiding you cards and valuables in your hotel room, especially among the clothing because it is the first place thieves will look for your valuables.

Always carry your cards “dispersed”. When having cards with you, you are advised not to keep them all in a single location such as your purse or travelling bag. Why? Because you will dramatically reduce the risk of finding yourself without all your payment cards and cash in case you get robbed.

Carry your cards and cash in a “safe” place. Bags, rucksacks, purses and suitcases are the worst choice to keep your cards and cash while travelling because they can easily get lost or stolen. Instead, carry your cards and cash in a money belt under the clothing and hold your bags firmly, especially at crowded places.

Try not to attract too much attention when abroad with fancy bags, designer clothing or expensive jewellery. These will also attract the attention of thieves and pickpockets, and make you more vulnerable to theft. Ideally, try to look as “local” as possible.

Always keep your valuables out of sight while travelling to and from your holiday destination if you are travelling with your car. Also, don’t leave any valuables inside a parked vehicle.

Always keep a close eye of your cards when using them to pay. You are recommended not to hand over your card to the staff to take it away because they may skim it. If possible, never let your cards be taken out of your sight.

Write down the 24-hour emergency number of your bank or card issuer and take it with you. Hopefully, you won’t need it but it is very important to block your cards immediately if they get lost or stolen.