RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TH) - Spring break and summer vacation are fast approaching and when it comes to traveling, it's important to make sure that your credit card information stays safe.
It's important to only use your credit card in places that you trust -- whether it is in person or online. If someone does illegally get ahold of your number, they will start to place small charges on the card to make sure it's still valid. This is why you should always check your statement every month, if not more often, even if you don't notice anything wrong with your total balance.
"You know they can run software and a lot of places when you go to restaurants or places like that you have to give your credit card sometimes it disappears for 10, 15, 20 minutes at the restaurant or things like that. They don't need the card anymore, they just need the number off of it. So all they do is maybe write that number down," says Terry Mills, outreach manager at Consumer Credit Counseling Service.
Some banks offer text or email alerts that will alert you if your card is used overseas. If you are going on a trip out of state or out of the country, make sure to call your bank to let them know, so you don't have any problems on your vacation.
"It's important to tell theses people dates, times where you're going to be so it doesn't look like unusual activity to the credit report and then also like I said when you're ordering online too sometimes that will look like unusual credit activity too because they do monitor that," says Mills.
The number to report a lost or stolen credit card is on the back of the card, so make sure you have that number, as well as your account number, saved in a safe place in case you lose the physical card.