Fraud poses a direct threat to travellers, as well as companies. Victims of a single incidence of fraud struggle through financial loss, damage to their credit scores and reputations and psychological distress. The harmful effects can last for years,
But the crime may only take a second. A social media posting about travel plans or carelessly handled travel documents expose sensitive information. Add a simple Google search, and a swindler has all he needs to quickly carry out a fraud attack against a traveller.
Here’s what travellers can do to protect themselves:
- Safeguard login credentials at ATMs, restaurants and other public places. And be on the lookout for “shoulder surfers”—anyone glancing over your shoulder to steal personal information.
- Don’t log in to corporate accounts over free public WiFi hotspots. The information is vulnerable to interceptions.
- Go paperless: Keep itineraries and travel documents on your password-protected mobile device.
- Travel with the bare minimum. Leave extra credit cards and excess cash at home.
- Don’t divulge travel dates and locations on social media.
- Be on the lookout for “phishing” emails that appear to come from legitimate companies like airlines, loyalty programs and banks. Don’t divulge any personal information to the sender and don’t click on any links. Delete immediately.
- Access favourite website links from your desktop or browser instead of clicking on a link in an email.
- Change passwords frequently and use alpha-numeric combinations.