Planning a spring break getaway from the cold?
Before you leave the country, know how to avoid falling victim to fraud—so your vacation can remain just that.
Before you go
Choose your cards
Plan to take more than one form of payment, and make sure each type can make purchases and get money, said Carrie Culbertson, senior card services representative at Dupaco’s Pennsylvania branch in Dubuque, Iowa. EMV cards offer better protection against card fraud compared to magnetic stripe cards.
Know your fees
Find out what international fees your card issuers charge so you know what to expect.
Notify card issuers
Tell your card issuers when and where you will be traveling, so your cards will continue to work while you are away, Culbertson said. You can use Shine Mobile Banking within Dupaco's app to notify Dupaco of upcoming travel plans to prevent fraud protection services from blocking use of your Dupaco MoneyCard and VISA credit card.
Set up eNotifier Alerts
Use Dupaco’s eNotifier Alerts to monitor activity on your accounts as it happens.
Store important phone numbers
Save the phone numbers for your card issuers in your phone in case you need to report a card stolen or lost. “If you lose your card, you lose that card number on the back of it,” Culbertson said.
Consider fraud-recovery coverage
Dupaco’s Family ID Restoration fraud-recovery program can help you respond to identity theft and fraud. “You want to have that protection before you travel,” Culbertson said.
While you're away
Pay the safer way
For better protection against card fraud, utilize EMV cards, your mobile wallet or tap and go payments.
Stick with one ATM
Plan to use the same ATM during your trip—preferably one that is at your resort or a nearby financial institution. “If you always use the same one, it will be easier to recognize if something looks out of sorts with the machine,” Culbertson said.
Even when you’re away, it’s important to be on the lookout for skimming devices, which fraudsters attach to card readers to make counterfeit cards.
Report fraudulent activity immediately
If you lose your card or notice suspicious activity on your account, notify your card issuer immediately.
When you return
Change your PIN
Always change your cards’ PINs when you return. As an extra precaution, you can request to change your card numbers. “I know that can be frustrating, especially if you have merchants that automatically charge your accounts,” Culbertson said. “It comes down to your individual comfort level.”
Continue to monitor your accounts
Keep watching your eNotifier Alerts and statements, and report any suspicious activity to your card issuer immediately. “Members can notice suspicious activity even months after they return,” Culbertson said.
By Emily Kittle