Safe travels: How to avoid summer payment scams

Keep your payments secure with our travel checklist.

silhouette of passenger looking out airport window onto tarmac

This summer, travelers are back on planes, trains, and automobiles, making up for time lost during the pandemic (a.k.a. revenge travel). And while consumer demand for mid-year travel promises to remain strong, more than half of travelers have more than time zones and currency conversion on the brain, with 58 percent concerned about possible fraud on their credit and debit card while abroad.1


These travel-safe tips are designed to help make your trip run smoother while keeping your payments secure.


Technology Dos

●      Keep your devices in your carry-on luggage rather than in checked bags. You’ll reduce the chance of theft before you even get to your destination.

●      Arrange ahead of time to use your mobile device as a hotspot. Public Wi-Fi networks, can be susceptible to hackers.

●      Bring a brick adapter and use a wall outlet to charge your device. Public USB ports make it possible for attackers to load malware onto your device.

●      Take screenshots of QR codes, confirmation numbers and receipts so you have trip-critical information when you’re offline.

●      Install and run a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to help keep your data anonymous.

●      Update software before you hit the road to fix any security vulnerabilities.


Payment Dos

Before you go:

●      Activate transaction alerts on your credit or debit card so that you can keep track of expenses and notice right away if there is any fraudulent activity.

●      Download apps of any hotels, airlines or other services you plan to use so you’ll have access to your purchase records. They’re usually the easiest way to contact customer service, too.

●      Store emergency contact details from the back of your cards in your phone or on a piece of paper somewhere your card isn’t, in case your card is lost or stolen.

●      Learn about travel-related benefits for Visa cardholders, including opt-in mobile services like mobile location confirmation, through your bank’s mobile app.


When you arrive:

●      Pay digitally in local currencies when possible. Foreign merchants may offer to convert your bill to your home currency. While it may be convenient to see your total in U.S. dollars, the conversion may include a markup.

●      Keep your card with you at all times. Don’t let anyone conducting a transaction take your card. For example, in a restaurant, ask that a terminal be brought to you to avoid out-of-sight skimming — when someone illegally clones your card for non-chip purchases.

●      Always keep your pin private, using your hand as a shield to keep onlookers from observing when you use an ATM or payment terminal.

●      Use your chip and Visa Tap to Pay to add an extra layer of security and help expedite payments — maybe even skip the line. Tap to ride technology lets you pay for public transit as you ride where available, eliminating both the need to wait in line and the risk of losing a valuable ticket.



As always, with Visa’s Zero Liability Policy, you won’t be liable for any unauthorized transactions.2

For more travel resources and insights, visit Visa Travel Support.


1 Morning Consult + Visa Holiday Travel study, September 2022

2 Visa’s Zero Liability Policy does not apply to certain commercial card and anonymous prepaid card transactions or transactions not processed by Visa. Cardholders must use care in protecting their card and notify their issuing financial institution immediately of any unauthorized use. Contact your issuer for more detail.

Tag: Travel Insights Tag: Fraud Tag: Payment Security

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