Keeping Your Information Safe:
You may have heard some of the horror stories about travelers, whose stolen wallets and purses ruined their vacation or business trips. Having your financial information stolen can take all the fun out of a vacation and cause problems when working abroad because you are left without anyway to pay for your traveling, eating, and lodging. Often nothing can be done about the situation until you arrive home.
Unfortunately this has happened to so many travelers on a daily basis that many have wised up and found ways to keep their information safe. There are certain things that a tourist can do to avoid having their information stolen including keeping their wallet concealed and secret, not letting their credit cards out of their sight, and keeping a fake wallet to give up to a robber in the case a criminal demands your money.
How Can My Information Be Stolen?
The first and foremost way that bank and credit card information can be stolen is that it is taken right from under your nose by experienced pickpockets who make it their business to steal while going undetected. Pickpockets are skilled at stealing valuables and wallets from purses and pockets and can even take the jewelry right off of you without you noticing.
They are so skilled doing this that they can easily take something without you noticing that anything has happened at all. You could go an entire day without realizing that anything has been taken from you until you go to use your credit card and it is not there and unfortunately local police are not much help when it comes to retrieving your lost belongings.
Another problem is receipts with your card numbers, phone numbers and signatures on them. Now days most places of business have security measures in place to protect the consumer. Some small businesses still do transactions the old fashion way and if an unscrupulous person obtained those receipts it could cause a world of trouble.
We hear more about identity theft every day. Hi-tech pirates can skim our credit and bank cards through our wallets and purses just by walking past us. It’s even possible to steal information off our cell phones. You can buy special wallets and cell phone sleeves that are lined with an alloy that the frequencies are unable to penetrate.
Cell Phone Apps that Protect:
SplashID is a storage app to keep your sensitive information safe and is made for the iPhone or the iPod Touch. A program app, iVault, lets you store your information in an encrypted ‘vault.’ If your phone is lost or stolen the data is protected.
Another software app is mSecure. All data is you may need while traveling can be stored securely. It uses an encryption to ensure your data is protected even if your phone is stolen. And of course these days there is built in GPS on most phones.
There are Ways to Evade Pickpockets:
One way to evade a pickpocketing situation is to wear what is known as a secret money belt and keep all of your important banking information, credit cards and cash in the belt instead of in your purse, bag or pocket. This is sort of a smaller fanny pack that can be worn around the waist very close to the body underneath a sweater and jacket.
Though pickpockets can still find a way to your money belt you will be more likely to notice if someone is reaching under your sweater and close to your body than if they were going through your purse while you were looking the other way. Be aware of people around you and try to make sure nobody is bumping up against you.
Avoiding an Upfront Robbery:
Although this does not happen as often as pickpocketing there are criminals on the street who may demand your wallet or the contents of your purse. Keep a fake wallet in your purse with old library cards, fake credit cards, bogus ID card and a twenty dollar bill. The robber is more likely to think this is the real wallet and run off with it. This will save you from further interrogation by the criminal and you will not lose all of your important information.
Keeping Your Information To Yourself:
It is important when you have credit card information to keep it to yourself and not to share it with anyone else unless you know they can be trusted. This means do not leave your credit card lying around in hotel rooms while you are out. You don’t know who you can trust and anyone in the hotel or on the hotel staff could steal your card while you are away. Also avoid reading credit card numbers over the phone to anyone for any reason, you never know who’s listening.
A few simple, practical steps can insure a safe and relaxing travel experience.
Andrew Bennett is a financial consultant and writer who suggests obtaining a poor credit credit card with no fee to help save money and rebuild your blemished credit.