As you know our family is preparing for a 5 month journey to Europe. As we check off items on our pre-departure to do list, we are focused on ensuring that our family will be safe. In purchasing travel insurance, we have helped protect ourselves from unforeseen medical expenses, trip delays and baggage theft. We also have a plan to spread clothing between four pieces of luggage, with each of us packing multiple sets of clothes in each suitcase. Should one or two bags be lost or stolen, we can still dress everyone quickly!
Our passports, laptops, cellphones, and credit cards are our biggest concerns. To have one of those items stolen would be heartbreaking, though the fraud protection offered by our TD credit cards is comforting. Several years ago, I discovered that my credit card had been compromised. Day after day for close to three weeks, a thief was charging a $19 parking fee to my card. I had no idea how this person obtained my number. When I discovered it, I quickly called TD and they took care of the charges. That was a relief, but I became more diligent with my credit card.
The following tips were provided by TD to help protect you and your loved ones from financial fraud.
- Pay attention to your fraud alerts – Banks are increasingly using text messaging to communicate with their customers. For example, TD Fraud Alerts are texts that notify a customer if TD detects suspicious activity made with their TD Access Card on their personal banking accounts. The customer can reply to the alert with a simple “Y” or “N” to confirm whether they recognize the transaction and TD will unblock or block their TD Access Card accordingly based on the response. TD will never ask a customer to reply to a Fraud Alert text with any personal information or ask customers to click on any links in their reply.
- Protect your PIN and guard your cheques – The only person who should know your PIN is you – not even your bank knows it. Don’t ever give out your PIN, whether in person, over the phone, online or by mail. You should also never leave your cheques unattended and if your chequebook is lost or stolen, call your bank immediately.
- Don’t be fooled by phishing – Exercise caution when receiving unsolicited e-mails containing attachments or asking you to click a link and provide sensitive information. Banks will not ask you to provide personal information, or login information such as usernames, passwords, PINs, security questions and answers, or account numbers, through unsolicited e-mail.
- Verify if it’s real – If you receive an unexpected and too-good-to-be-true cheque, chances are it may be fraudulent. It’s always important to know who you’re doing business with.
- Check your statements, online accounts or banking apps regularly – This will alert you to fraudulent transactions more quickly. Money management apps, like the TD MySpend app, can be helpful tools since they help TD customers to be aware of certain types of transactions on eligible TD accounts and credit cards. The TD MySpend app provides notifications of spend transactions in real-time, which helps make it easy for customers to recognize a fraudulent purchase quickly.
But, when it comes to our journey to Europe, there are other factors that need to be taken into account.
Thieves in Europe are also known to use scanning devices to steal information from credit cards. They can do this simply by standing next to their victim and scanning the person’s wallet. While checking my statement daily will help me to identify illegitimate purchases, having my card scanned and used in Europe would be a headache. The credit card would be immediately deactivated once I informed my bank of the theft, leaving me scrambling to find a place to have a new one sent. An RFID protector is a must for us, which shields the cards we use against these scanning devices.
When travelling, I also ensure that I use a VPN, which encrypts my Internet connection when I am using new wireless networks.
We will be travelling with several credit cards and debit cards, each carrying different cards and leaving the other credit cards secured in our hotel room. This may seem like overkill, but we don’t want to be in a position where we are robbed and have no access to funds while travelling through Europe.
If we do get robbed, or discover that our card numbers have been stolen, we’re prepared. Here are the steps we’ll be taking to resolve the problem as soon as we can:
Making sure we know how to contact our bank. Outside of North America, our bank’s 1-800 number won’t work. We’ve identified the number to call while overseas, written it down in a safe place and also posted it online in both Google Drive and DropboxWe will be memorizing our credit and debit card numbers as well as our driver’s license, passport and citizenship details. If one or all of these items are stolen, having these details will help us to prove our identity and work with our bank and the Canadian Embassy to identify exactly what details were stolen.
Travelling with multiple forms of payment. We will be carrying small amounts of US Dollars and Euros for use in an emergency. Carrying multiple credit cards and debit cards gives us access to funds in multiple places.
Some European cities are known for their elaborate pickpocketing schemes, and so we’re prepared to be diligent the moment we arrive in the region. Our cell phones and wallets will be in our front pockets, and, always trying to keep one eye on the kids and the other on our luggage.
With multiple credit cards, access to monitor our online accounts daily, and the comfort of knowing that our bank has a team dedicated to fraud protection, we feel confident. Our cautious natures will be an asset, but we plan on exploring as much as we can and meeting a few other adventurers too. The steps we have taken to prevent financial fraud, and to mitigate its effects should we fall victim, should let us focus on the fun. Let the adventure begin!
Disclosure : This post is part of the YummyMummyClub.ca and TD sponsored program. I received compensation as a thank you for my participation. This post reflects my personal opinion about the information provided by the sponsors.