Are you getting ready for summer vacation? If your summer plans include traveling, please keep these tips in mind to prevent fraud:

1. Notify Homeland Credit Union: Before traveling, inform your financial institution and credit card companies about your travel plans, including the destinations and duration of your trip. This prevents them from flagging your debit and credit transactions as suspicious activity.

2. Use Secure ATMs and Payment Terminals: Be cautious when using ATMs and payment terminals, especially in tourist areas. Opt for ATMs located in well-lit and secure areas and avoid using ATMs with suspicious devices attached to them. Don’t forget Homeland CU members have access to the Allpoint Network and its 55,000 surcharge-free ATMs worldwide.

3. Avoid Public Wi-Fi for Sensitive Transactions: Public Wi-Fi networks are often unsecured, making it easy for hackers to intercept your data. Avoid logging into sensitive accounts or making online purchases using public Wi-Fi. Instead, use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or your mobile data connection.

4. Monitor Your Accounts Regularly: Keep a close eye on your bank and credit card statements while traveling. Report any unauthorized transactions or suspicious activity to your financial institutions immediately. Homeland CU members be sure to download and set up the SecurLOCK Equip app to get real-time alerts on your debit/credit card activity.

5. Use RFID-blocking Wallets or Sleeves: RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) technology embedded in passports, credit cards, and IDs can be vulnerable to electronic pickpocketing. Consider using RFID-blocking wallets or sleeves to protect your cards and passport from unauthorized scanning.

6. Be Wary of Skimming Devices: Skimming devices are often used by fraudsters to steal credit card information. Before using an ATM or payment terminal, check for any signs of tampering or unusual attachments. If something looks suspicious, use a different machine. 

7. Keep Your Documents Secure: Carry only essential documents such as your passport and driver's license and keep them in a secure location like a hotel safe when not needed.

8. Beware of "Friendly" Strangers: Be cautious of strangers who approach you, especially if they seem overly eager or insistent. These could be attempts to distract you while a counterpart steals your belongings or information.

9. Use Strong Passwords and Two-Factor Authentication: Ensure that your online accounts have strong, unique passwords, and enable two-factor authentication whenever possible. This adds an extra layer of security to your accounts, making them less vulnerable to unauthorized access

10. Trust Your Instincts: If something feels off or too good to be true, trust your instincts and proceed with caution. It's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your personal and financial information while traveling.