Don’t make it easy for pickpockets. Carry your wallet in an inside pocket, preferably one which can be fastened, not your back pocket. If someone bumps into you in a crowd, see if you still have your wallet or purse.
Cash is a favourite target for thieves, so try to avoid carrying large amounts. When on holiday abroad, take travellers’ cheques.
If your credit card is stolen, tell the card company immediately. Keep the number handy. If you delay reporting the loss, it could lead to a crime being committed in your name, as a thief could make fraudulent use of your card. Thieves can use credit cards for over the counter and telephone purchases.
Never carry the personal identification number (PIN) with your cash dispensing cards. Always memorise your number, and never disclose it, not even to bank staff or close friends. Sign new plastic cards as soon as they arrive, and cut up old ones when they expire.
Plastic’s fantastic unless you lose it
- Guard your cards. Don’t let them out of your sight when making a transaction
- Don’t carelessly discard receipts from card transactions.
- Check your receipts against your statements carefully. If you find an unfamiliar transaction, contact your bank or building society immediately.
- Never write down your PIN and never disclose it to anyone, even if they claim to be from your bank or the police.
- Report lost or stolen cards to your bank or building society immediately. The 24-hour emergency telephone number is on your last statement or you can call Directory Enquiries.
- Sign any new cards as soon as they arrive. Ensure that you cut up the old cards immediately the new ones become valid.
- Don’t keep your cheque book with your cards.
- If you use a bag, carry it firmly with the clasp towards you. A money belt, bum bag or secure inside pocket is best for valuables.
- Don’t leave cards unattended in a bag, briefcase or jacket in a public place – and keep your bag or briefcase on your lap.
- At work, keep your bag and other personal belongings locked in a cupboard or drawer.
- When on holiday, don’t leave valuables unattended in your accommodation, on the beach or by the pool. Use a hotel safe if available.
- Consider registering with a card protection scheme – particularly if you have several cards. Contact your card issuer for details.
- Don’t use a cash machine if you notice anyone behaving suspiciously around it or you spot anything suspicious on the cash machine itself – and report your suspicions to the bank concerned or the police. If your card is retained by the cash machine contact your card issuer immediately.
- When entering your PIN use your free hand or your body to shield the number from prying eyes or hidden cameras.