When you are packing for those summer trips, think about what you don’t want to take along and what not to do on the trip — to avoid con artists.
On more than one occasion I have turned to Sid Kirchheimer, writer for the AARP Bulletin for tips. In the May, 2012 issue Sid has the following tips:
- Contact your credit card providers. They will appreciate you letting them know where you are going so they can more effectively track bogus charges and not freeze your card for unusual activity.
- Stop your mail. I choose to have a neighbor collect our mail. That same neighbor is good enough to pick up our newspaper every day. Be careful not to broadcast on Facebook that you are out of town. Wait and post pictures of your trip after you have returned home.
- Remove those extra credit cards from your wallet. You only need your driver’s license and two credit cards. Sid says to carry one card and lock the other in a hotel room safe in case your wallet is stolen. If something happens to one, you have a back up.
- Leave your checkbook at home. You won’t need it; use your credit cards.
- Be cautious when using the hotel computers or other public computers. Wait to access your financial data until you get home.
- Outsmart “front desk” fraudsters. They call in the middle of the night pretending to be a hotel clerk asking for your credit card number again because their computers crashed.
Best wishes for safe travels and good times.