Don't let thieves and fraudsters ruin your summer

Nationwide publishes top tips to keeping your money safe at home and abroad

03 August 2012

Nationwide Building Society has warned holidaymakers to be on their guard against thieves and fraudsters this summer, whether they are travelling abroad or staying at home. Although travellers tend to be more vigilant of their cash and cards overseas, Nationwide says people could also be vulnerable whilst holidaying in the UK or visiting some of the big sporting events.

Nationwide has published some tips to help people keep safe this summer. Pete Corrie, Nationwide's Head of Financial Crime, explains: "Whatever the weather, the start of the school holidays marks the true beginning of summer. But it is also the time when thieves and fraudsters are ready to pounce and ruin your summer.

"So whether you're planning to go abroad, opting for a staycation or visiting a major sporting event in the UK, it is important to take steps to protect your money and belongings."

Pete's top tips include:

  1. Don't shout about your holiday: No matter how excited you might be, don't tell everyone about your holiday and advertise the fact that your home is likely to be empty, particularly on social networking sites. Ask a trusted friend to check your mail whilst you're away as piles of letters are a dead giveaway of an unoccupied house.
  2. Keep an eye on your cards: Don't let your debit and credit cards out of your sight in shops and restaurants, both at home and overseas, and never reveal your PIN number to anyone. If travelling abroad only take the payment cards you need (including a back up card) and inform your card provider before you go to alert them of your holiday plans and destination.
  3. Take care at cash machines: Always use modern ATMs belonging to reputable institutions and don't use a machine that looks like it's been tampered with - fraudsters can use skimming devices to capture your data. Make sure to shield the keypad when tapping in your PIN to avoid thieves "shoulder-surfing" to steal your details. If the ATM doesn't return your card, inform your card provider immediately.
  4. Beware of bogus bookings: It's best to book accommodation and travel plans directly with the hotel and carrier, or via a reputable travel company, particularly if you're booking online - If you're using an agent make sure they are ABTA or ATOL members. The same applies whether you're going abroad or visiting a sporting event at home.
  5. Be prepared: Before you travel make sure you have your building society, bank or credit card company's 24 hour contact number in case you have any problems, and take a copy of your travel insurance documents. When you return home check your statements as soon as possible and immediately alert your provider to any suspicious transactions.

Nationwide has created a fraud awareness section on its website providing people with information to help them protect themselves from fraud, in addition to the Action Fraud website set up by the National Fraud Authority.

Notes to editors:

Nationwide is the world's largest building society as well as the second largest savings provider and a top-three provider of mortgages in the UK. It is also a major provider of current accounts, credit cards, ISAs and personal loans. Nationwide has around 15 million customers.

Since the credit crunch began in 2007, Nationwide has remained profitable against a very difficult economic environment. In the half year ending September 2011 Nationwide made a strong underlying profit of £172 million - up 17% from the previous year.

Customers can manage their finances in branch, on the telephone, internet and post. The Society has around 16,000 employees. Nationwide's head office is in Swindon with administration centres based in Northampton, Bournemouth and Dunfermline. The Society also has a number of call centres across the UK.

Please note: If you are a customer looking for information on our products and services, please visit the main website.