Vacation Travel and Credit Card Reminders0
By Evelyn J. Mocbeichel
If you have travel plans for pleasure or business out of your regular location, the following tip is for you. Years ago, we never gave a thought about identify theft and other scams relating to the use of our information and credit card. Nowadays you have to be extra vigilant about keeping tabs on your personal information, especially when you are traveling and caught up in carting your luggage, checking boarding schedules and maneuvering laptops or other equipment along with you.
This event occurred with our two daughters’ credit cards when they were traveling in Europe a few years back. They were visiting and staying with relatives and friends living in Germany and would use their credit cards solely for shopping, dining out and perhaps to purchase train tickets when they visited different cities.
When traveling out of state or country, notify your credit card company of your travel dates. It was with quite a bit of hassle that we learned about this tip. Several days into our daughter’s trip I received a phone call from her credit card company looking for her. It was the fraud department of her credit card company and they had our number as an emergency contact if she was unreachable. I told the representative she was abroad and he asked for her date of departure and what cities she was in since there was “unusual activity” on the credit card. This meant that these were not charges made to her normal home areas.
All credit card companies have a “red flag” program that signals any unusual spending on their client’s card. The credit card company accepted the information I offered about her departure date and what cities she shopped in and said they would not block her credit card. Thank goodness she had been in touch via email and phone calls and I knew her current location. The charge in question was for two train tickets from one part of Germany to another. I named the two cities that were on their agenda and the representative verified that these were the train stations on the charge and allowed the charge to go through.
The moral of this story is simple — notify all the credit cards companies of your travel plans and also keep in contact with a family member that knows your itinerary and has permission to talk to your credit card company on your behalf if they should call with inquiries.