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How To Avoid Becoming A Victim Of Multi-Currency Card Fraud While Travelling

Lock your cards when not in use


Multi-Currency cards such as Wise, YouTrip and Revolut have become the instruments of choice when making digital payments during travel, given that they are compatible with Google Pay and charge lower forex fees compared to credit cards. They also offer convenience since they have physical cards which can be used for contactless payments or cash withdrawals from ATMs.

In addition to this, multi-currency cards can be used just like credit/debit cards for online transactions, especially those which are transacted in a foreign currency. Credit cards offer a layer of protection, since fraudulent transactions are made on credit, which means that the card bearer has not made payment, whereas for multi-currency cards and debit cards, money is deducted from your account.

Locking Your Card

Preventing further transfers is of utmost importance. Most multi-currency cards have a lock feature to prevent further transactions from being made. This feature can be accessed through the app or the website by logging in to your account. Once the card is locked, further transactions or deductions cannot be made.

Reporting The Fraudulent Transaction

To enhance the chances of recovery, you should report this to the police through the online police reports portal or by calling the anti-scam centre hotline at 1800-722-6688, and thereafter report this to your financial institution, in this case, the multi-currency service. The police will work with various organisations to trace and attempt to recover the funds.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Reversing money transfers is usually not straightforward. It takes time for the authorities to trace transactions, and if the money has been transferred overseas, this adds a layer of difficulty because of different operating procedures and laws under the different jurisdictions.

Unfortunately, this means that a scam victim may not get their money back, and even if they do, it will take some time before the authorities have apprehended the culprits, frozen the accounts and recovered the sum of money. In many cases, by the time the tracing is complete, the money may have become irrecoverable.

Here are some ways to secure your accounts in order to avoid falling prey to scams.

#1 Lock Account When Not In Use

Multi-currency cards become vulnerable when users leave money in the account for the long term. Some users regularly travel to specific countries for business or to visit family, which makes it more convenient to leave a stash of that country’s currency in the account. Other users may buy currency when the exchange rate is favourable for a future holiday in that country. Whichever your reasons for holding currency in a multi-currency account, it is best to engage the lock or freeze feature to prevent transactions, until you are ready to travel.

Read Also: Why Cash Is Not King: 4 Ways To Get The Best Bang For Your Buck In Your Next Overseas Holiday

#2 Use 2-Factor Authentication

Most Multi-currency cards have 2-factor authentication (2FA) or 2-step verification, which is a feature that requires the user to use a separate device or account to authenticate logins or transactions.

While it may seem like more trouble, passwords have become very easy for scammers or hackers to obtain, either through data leaks or phishing/keyloggers on unsecured devices. A 2FA is the last line of defence since the scammer or hacker is unlikely to have simultaneous access to the separate device or account. Additionally, if a transaction is about to be made, the 2FA typically includes a notice about the transacted amount and recipient, which could alert the user that something is amiss.

Read Also: 4 Internet Habits To Adopt To Prevent Scams

#3 Enable App Notifications

Multi-currency card apps typically notify you when a transaction is made. Ensuring that the notifications are enabled can help you identify when fraudulent transactions have been made on the account. This may be especially important during the periods where your card has been unlocked for use during travel.

App notifications will also inform you if attempts have been made to charge your card, which may alert you if your multi-currency card details have been compromised. This allows you to take action to secure your account by requesting for fresh credentials.

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