If you’re planning a holiday, it may be wise to leave the credit card at home as new data shows card fraud is continuing to increase rapidly overseas.
Research released this month by the Australian Payments Clearing Association shows that in the past two years counterfeit and skimming fraud on Australian cards used internationally increased by 77% while at home in Australia it decreased by 10%.
“Counterfeit fraud is dropping in Australia as a result of chip technology and closer cooperation between financial institutions and law enforcement,” said Acting APCA CEO Andy White.
It’s a different story overseas where chip technology isn’t as prevalent. Many countries still rely on magnetic strip technology and signatures to approve purchases. While this issue is present worldwide, Australians travelling in the US are particularly warned of criminals targeting card holders.
“As the US progressively rolls-out chip technology, criminals are targeting those terminals that are still mag stripe only and Australian cards have been caught up in this fraud. Large scale data breaches are also contributing to the growing level of online card fraud.”
For Australians heading overseas that don’t want to risk their credit cards, investigating other spending options that could be a good way of protecting yourself from fraud is wise. Prepaid travel cards could assist to limit the effect card fraud will have on your travel. By loading up several cards with a portion of your cash if something does go wrong with one you have a Plan B.
If you still want to take your card with you, to earn points overseas or because it has a low currency conversion fee, then make sure you have a backup. Bring your debit card as well or perhaps another credit card for emergencies. Make sure your travel companions also have backup cards so that your group will always have access to money even if you need to cancel your credit card.
Before you head overseas it also pays to know what numbers need to be called to cancel your card in case you do suspect you have been a victim of fraud. Keeping them written down with other emergency contact numbers can help save time if you do find yourself in a credit fraud crisis.