Ahead of the peak holiday season, the Express has quoted a travel expert as a reminder of the steps to take before using an ATM on holiday.
Unfortunately, travelers who relaxed on vacation become victims of fraudulent schemes and are left without money far from home. According to the Samba team, tourists should “exercise caution” when using ATMs, as well as follow other classic precautions.
First, take precautions when using ATMs. A representative had this to say: “ATMs can be a great convenience when traveling, but it’s important to be careful when using them. Before using the device, make sure that it is located in a safe place and that there are no suspicious persons nearby. It is also a good idea to cover your hand when entering the PIN code so that it is not seen by outsiders.” At the same time, travelers should hide their PIN code in case a fraudster tries to see it over their shoulder.
Secondly, you need to monitor your data and accounts. “It’s important to check your accounts regularly when traveling, especially if you use debit or credit cards. Ensure that all transactions are legitimate and that no unauthorized payments have been made. If you notice any suspicious activity, contact your bank immediately,” the company advised. Tourists should contact their bank immediately if they notice any unusual activity on their cards.
Third, store your documents securely. “We strongly recommend keeping all your important documents in a safe place – your passport, driver’s license, and other forms of identification. If possible, always keep these items in a locked suitcase or safe when traveling. Also, use alternative methods – wear a money belt instead of a wallet, which is easy to steal. It’s a cheap investment and a great option if you can’t leave your valuables at the hotel,” experts also advised, adding that a flat money belt can easily be hidden under clothing and leave a pickpocket with nothing.
There is another unusual addition: some experts surprisingly recommend keeping shoes in the hotel safe along with important traveler’s documents. It is believed that this way tourists will not forget to put on their shoes when leaving the room and therefore will not forget to take their valuables.
Fourth, read the news about fraud schemes to know the “trends” of thieves. “When traveling abroad, it’s important to be aware of common scams and fraud schemes. Be careful when dealing with strangers and never give out personal information or cash to anyone you don’t know. It’s also wise to research potential tourist scams at your destination before you travel so you can be prepared for any eventuality,” they said.
Fifth, be aware of commission fees for transactions with bank cards, including exchange rates. “Before traveling abroad, it’s important to be aware of any potential fees associated with cards and exchange rates. Many countries have different rules for their use, so it is important to familiarize yourself with them before going on a trip, experts added.
If travelers plan to spend money with the card while away, it’s a good idea to get a currency card. And when withdrawing money from an ATM, they should always do so in the local currency, not in rubles, to avoid overpayment.