Risk

Part of: Finance World

I took my girlfriend to Paris last month as a surprise for our one year anniversary (quite an achievement if I say so myself!). I found a great last minute deal on Eurostar and a guest house in the city (fairly cheap but still romantic!). I took some Euros with me but as I got paid the day after we arrived I decided to use my debit card too.

On the second day I took some cash out at an ATM in the city and we spent the day sightseeing. That night we went for dinner at this little bistro to celebrate. I thought I'd use my card to pay but it was declined twice - not really helping me to impress my girlfriend! Thankfully between the two of us we had enough cash to pay for the meal but I was still really embarrassed and starting to worry about how I would pay for anything else while we were away. I decided to try my card again at an ATM on our walk home but again it didn't work.

When I took out my mobile thinking I'd call the bank to see what was the problem, I realised there was a voicemail from the bank saying to call them back urgently! I did and was connected straight away, I had to answer a ton of security questions so they were sure it was me calling, and then they explained they were concerned about identity fraud as my card had been used in Paris. I explained it was me and that I was on holiday, and they lifted the block they had temporarily placed on my card when they thought it was stolen. They told me that in future I should let them know if I plan to use my card abroad so that they don't block it for security reasons.

I will definitely tell my bank in the future and while it was really annoying that my card stopped working (at the worst possible time) I am happy that they keep an eye out for unusual purchases and foreign use.

Activity:

Answer the following questions about identity fraud.

  1. List three types of fraud or scams.
  2. What should you always do with statements and bills?