Better Business Bureau Offers Tips to Avoid Problems on the Road and at Your Destination
Wallingford, CT – November 25, 2013 – Whether you are heading out on the road or a getaway by plane, Connecticut Better Business Bureau warns travelers to avoid becoming the victims of fraud and theft.
Aside from the standard precautions of putting lights on a timer and turning down the heat, it is essential to be careful with social media, choose your payment method carefully and understand methods criminals use to cheat travelers out of their personal and financial information.
A first step is to inform your credit card issuer and financial institution that you are leaving town, where you might be stopping over and when you will return. If you don’t, transactions may be rejected and flagged as potentially fraudulent by the credit card company, because your out-of-state purchases might not fit your typical spending pattern.
Also, check social media privacy settings and make sure nobody in the family is posting details of your holiday getaway. Remember that if you post photos online, they can contain time and date information that reveals you are out of town.
Connecticut Better Business Bureau offers these additional tips:
Credit or debit? – When you’re on the road, it is safest to use a credit card for purchases and payments. Debit or debit/credit cards are best for withdrawing money, filling-up the car and buying groceries.
Keep those numbers handy – Keep your credit card’s customer service number and the card number in a safe place or with a trusted friend in case your card is lost or stolen.
Watch out for card skimmers – Criminals place these devices over card readers at gas stations and standalone ATMs to capture cards’ information. Beware of any card slot that doesn’t fit firmly over the machine. If your card gets stuck, call your financial institution right away.
Don’t fall for the “front desk” scam – In this ruse, a traveler receives a phone call late at night or early in the morning, is told that the hotel’s computer system is down and that their credit number has to be verified. These calls come from con artists outside the hotel or motel.
Watch out for crimes of contact – Make sure you know where your wallet is. Pickpockets set up diversions and may “accidentally” bump into you, while they or an accomplice steal your belongings.
Check your receipts – Make sure there are no errors on the receipt when you make a purchase, and when you get home, carefully check your financial statements for unauthorized charges.
You will find additional helpful consumer tips at www.bbb.org.