Crime doesn't take a holiday. Don't let it ruin yours. Secure your data.

posted by Stephan Thomasee on Wednesday, July 1, 2020 in SHAZAM Blog

While travel to new places may have slowed due to the pandemic, crime’s never on a holiday. To protect yourself while traveling on vacation or enjoying a staycation, take a few simple but effective precautions.

  • If you stop at the ATM, protect your transaction.
    • Before inserting your card, pull firmly on the card reader to make sure there aren’t any overlays. Fraudsters install overlay devices on top of the ATM equipment to capture your card’s magnetic stripe data. They’re usually very loose and will pull off easily. If this happens, take the overlay into the institution and report what you’ve found.
    • To help keep your PIN secure, shield your PIN entry with your hand. Fraudsters install mini cameras to spy on your PIN entry. Your hand is an effective block.
    • Follow these same steps when shopping at the store and using the POS device. Don’t assume the clerk is watching the POS device. They’re busy doing their job, and fraudsters know this. Those same overlay devices can be installed on a POS terminal in a matter of seconds. Don’t hesitate to give it a tug.
  • To ensure the safest shopping experience online, be sure the web address starts with https. The “s” stands for secure. Also look for a padlock icon, which is usually found in the bar at the top of the screen, next to the web address.
  • Turn off the autocomplete settings in your browser so your card data and personal information aren’t being stored. While it’s very convenient, it’s not a best practice.
  • Monitor your transactions and report any discrepancies. Fraud-fighting apps like BrellaTM  alert cardholders immediately about potentially fraudulent activity, allowing them to block or unblock their own cards. If you don’t have this type of app, call the number on the back of your payment card to report any account concerns.
  • Implement fraud alerts offered by your financial institution. This feature is typically accessible online. To protect your account from theft, set alerts so you’re notified when transactions are made.
  • Before you travel, contact your financial institution to set a travel notice on your account. Many debit and credit cards are set to decline transactions when they’re outside of your typical geographic location. While this is for your safety, valid transactions may be declined based on location.

As the use of card and mobile payments increases, protecting personal information becomes more essential. Keep your card in a safe place and consider locking your account when it isn’t being used.

Have a wonderful summer and keep your accounts safe!


  1. brella mobile app
  2. preparedness
  3. security
  4. social media

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