These three smart moves help boost your financial safety when you are traveling with your credit or ATM card.

Plastic is fast. It’s a simple truth: Credit and ATM cards make most transactions speedy and simple, no matter where your travels take you. But what about credit-card and bank-card fraud? To stay on guard, try three easy strategies.

Play pretend. A four-digit PIN is fairly easy for a “shoulder surfer” to grab. To throw off prying eyes at an ATM or while you’re filling up at a gas station, do this: Pretend you’re pressing more numbers than you really are in between the actual code.

Round them off. When dining out, adjust your tip so the final amount is rounded to the nearest dollar. That way, if someone at the restaurant is illegally charging you change, you’ll spot it quickly on your monthly statement. Do the same for gas purchases to flag penny robberies or stolen numbers.

Use credit more. Under the Fair Credit Billing Act, your liability for fraudulent abuse of a credit card maxes out at $50. Debit card purchases have less protection.


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From the publishers of Men’s Health and Women’s Health