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.


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?