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Financial Safekeeping During Vacation Season

As the summer vacation season begins and we all look for a little rest and relaxation, Fifth Third Bank offers tips to help protect and stay on top of your finances before, during and after your trip:

Before Leaving Town:

• Notify your credit card providers that you will be traveling. Be sure to let them know when you’re leaving, where you’ll be going and how long you’ll be gone. This helps companies identify fraudulent charges if your card is used where you are not.

• Place a temporary hold on your mail or ask a neighbor to pick it up. A full mailbox can not only signal an empty house, but it may tempt criminals to steal valuable statements and information right from your box.
During Your Trip:

• Take advantage of alerts that banks like Fifth Third offer to get debit, credit, and ATM transaction notices directly to your phone. Alerts can be set for transactions over a certain limit or transactions that occur online or overseas. This can help put you in the know faster and help stop account fraud faster.

• Never carry large amounts of cash; use credit cards, traveler’s checks or a prepaid card. If you must carry a large sum of money, do not display it openly.

• Keep a record of your traveler’s check and credit card numbers in a safe place like a hotel room safe. You also should have the telephone numbers to call in case your checks or cards are lost or stolen.

• Keep all personal items (wallets, passports, etc) secure, and skip the fanny pack or anything else that screams “tourist!” Men should carry wallets in an inside coat or front trouser pocket, and women carry purses close to the body and closed tightly. Use the hotel safe for anything you don’t need to carry with you.

• Don’t access financial data or personal information on hotel or other public computers. This goes for public Wi-Fi networks as well.
When You Return:

• When you return from your trip, check your credit card and bank account statements to make sure that there is nothing out of the ordinary. If you notice something unusual or fraudulent, contact your bank immediately.
A little planning and vigilance goes a long way, and can help keep your money safe while you’re making memories and enjoying some much-needed time away.

Kim Bergin is Senior Vice President Retail Market Manager for Fifth Third Bank.