As restrictions lift and business travel increases, so does the risk of your business falling victim to a travel scam. Taking preventive measures can help you and your employees avoid fraud while booking business trips this summer.
Here are a few tips to help prevent scammers from taking advantage of you as travel returns.
One way to plan a financially safer trip is to purchase from a travel business you are already familiar with. Asking coworkers and other business owners in your network about travel companies they have used in the past will help ensure you are working with a trustworthy company. Once you have centered in on a hotel or travel agency, look online to read reviews regarding their service, quality and prices.
Some scammers pretend to be legitimate, trusted businesses. According to the American Hotel and Lodge Association, approximately 55 million online hotel bookings are affected by fraudulent websites and call centers posing as hotel websites. Make sure after you’ve finished booking a flight, hotel or rental car to confirm each arrangement by speaking to someone over the phone. If you’re unable to reach a company representative, it may be best to cancel and seek out a more reliable business. Most cancellation policies have a 24-hour grace period after booking, but be aware of how much time you have to do additional research before you are charged a fee.
Discourage Cash Payments
Paying with a credit card can give added protection against potential fraudulent scams. If you or an employee are tricked into a travel scam, the charges can be disputed with a credit card company. While card dispute requests are not guaranteed to be approved, it is worth contacting the credit card company for a potential refund, especially if a significant amount of money was lost to a scammer.
Limit Card Exposure
Using the Mobile Wallet app is an easy way to increase financial security while traveling. This tool replaces card information with a virtual token so it is never exposed. Simply download the app, enter in the card information, and activate the card. The user can hold their device up to the contactless symbol for in-store purchases.
Take Security Into Your Own Hands
Another security solution is the ability to control how, when and where a debit card is used. SecurLOCK Equip™ gives card holders full control to temporarily disable a card, restrict card usage to certain areas, block transactions occurring outside an area and receive alerts for card transactions. This is especially useful after using a card while traveling in a specific region, and you want to ensure your credentials cannot be lifted and used by a scammer after you have left that area. If you or an employee believes to have been targeted by a travel scam, report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. For more on travel scams, visit ftc.gov/travel.
Be Prepared if Traveling Internationally
Our international team works closely with you to make sure you have everything you need when doing business in foreign markets. International USD and FX wire payments allow you to securely send and receive global payments in USD or foreign currency. We also allow account holders to buy local currency at any of our branch locations before your trip, and buy back unused currency when you return. Foreign currency orders typically take just a day or two to arrive.
To learn more about our Treasury Management solutions that help protect your business from fraud visit our Pay Conversion page.