Keep your credit cards safe while you travel this summer - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Keep your credit cards safe while you travel this summer

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SeaTac, WA -- 59% of Americans will travel this summer, according to American Express. Whether you're staying close to home and summiting Mt. Rainier, or hiking in the Swiss Alps, you can use your credit and debit cards with confidence. Simply follow these security safety tips provided by Northwest credit unions:

* First, take advantage of your credit union's account monitoring systems that allow you to track your spending. Check daily, and report any suspicious activity immediately.

* EMV chip cards provide an extra layer of security when you use them on site (not online). Not all merchants have caught up with this technology trend. If the merchant's chip system isn't operating yet, you can still use your card, but continue to monitor your transactions daily.

* If you enter a pin number, use your other hand to shield the number from anyone who may be watching.

* Be sure your card is returned following each purchase and that it is indeed your card.

* Wait for the receipt. Never leave it at the checkout counter; and keep receipts with you, not in your shopping bags.

* Keep a list of your card account numbers and telephone numbers to call if your cards are lost or stolen. Keep that list in a secure place--not in your wallet.

* Know that your PIN can be stolen in other ways. There is a heat signature left on non-metal keypads for several minutes after you use it. Infrared cameras installed on smart phones can be used to measure this heat signature and obtain your PIN. Stop this fraud by resting your fingers on other keys while typing in your PIN.

* Unfortunately, thieves can place "skimming" devices on ATMs to steal your card and PIN numbers, so they can make fake cards and steal your money. Look for anything unusual near the speakers and beside the screen. Pull or twist on the device where you insert your card to make sure it's secure. If you find a skimming device has been attached don't use the ATM, and call police immediately.

* Finally, let your credit union know that you will be traveling, and the destination. Credit union employees are looking out for you, and they pay attention to your spending patterns so they freeze your card and alert you if there is unusual spending. Letting the credit union know that you are traveling will allow you to continue to use your cards conveniently.

 

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