6 On Your Side Answers: Keeping your money safe on vacation

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The summer travel season is here, and that means scammers will be on the prowl trying to take advantage of tourists on vacation.

Mary Ann in Seymour asks: “What advice do you have on precautions we should take using our credit cards while on vacation?”

Definitely crooks will be keeping a close eye on tourists this summer wherever you travel, so the first thing you need to remember is to lighten up your wallet. Carry only the credit cards you’ll be using on your trip. There is no need to put them all at risk. Just take one or two and leave the rest at home.

Pack an ATM debit card for withdrawing cash at ATMs, and remove any card with your Social Security number on it.

Watch for bogus ATM machines. Thieves often place phony ATMs at high-traffic tourist areas, so stick to ATMs that are near banks, in airports or in hotels where it is hard for thieves to set up the bogus machines.

Mastercard and Visa have worldwide ATM locators on their websites, so it is easy to check out legitimate ATM locations in areas where you will be traveling.

Keep a close eye on that debit card. While it’s handy for making small purchases while traveling, remember it is linked directly to your checking account.

Create text alerts.If your credit card is stolen, activate text alerts on it. That way anytime something is posted to your account, you get a text on your phone.

Tell your bank and credit card companies about your travel plans. If you don’t, they may think a thief, not you, is making all those fun-filled vacation purchases and can shut down your credit or ATM card.

Use the hotel safe. Don’t get too comfortable in that hotel room because there are too many people with keys to that room and nothing is truly private.

Watch out for crowds. Thieves are drawn to where there are large groups of distracted people.

Always be alert. Remember, thieves don’t take a vacation.

You can see Don Dare’s 6 On Your Side Answers every Tuesday and Thursday on 6 News at 4:00.

If you have a question you can send Don an email at ddare@wate.com or call his 6 On Your Side hotline at (865) 633-5974.

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