UACES Facebook Protect Your Credit And Debit Cards While Traveling This Summer!
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Protect Your Credit And Debit Cards While Traveling This Summer!

Here are some tips to take to help protect your bank and credit accounts before going on your summer vacation.

Nashville, Ark. – School is out and many families will be heading to their favorite beach, amusement park, museum or mountain for a family vacation.  Before you pack your bags, take steps to protect yourself and your bank and credit accounts.

            Identity theft is on the rise and it is more important now than ever that you take steps to prevent your identity or fraudulent activity from being stolen. Here are some tips to help protect your money and personal identity as you begin your summer vacation plans.

            Make sure you keep your purse or wallet with you and think about what you’re carrying in your wallet as you travel away from home. Take time before you board the plane or leave your home to purge your purse or wallet of unnecessary items. Take out all credit cards that you will not use and leave them at home in a safe place.

            It is recommended that you never carry your Social Security card in your purse or wallet. If it is currently in your wallet, take it out and put it in a safe place at home.

            Make sure you only take the personal identification you need and the particular credit or debit cards you intend to use while you are away from home. Leave your student ID card at home, unless you plan to use it for identification purposes. Leave everything else in a secure location at home.

            Before you leave home, write down all the contact information you will need in the event your wallet is lost or stolen. You will need phone numbers of who to contact and account numbers to cancel the cards in order to prevent someone else from using them. If you are a teen traveling on your own or with a group, make sure your parents or someone back home has all the contact information. They may be the ones to call the companies to cancel the accounts. Also, put the contact information in a separate place from your wallet so you will have it available if needed.

            As you travel, it is important to always check your receipts when you make a purchase. Anytime you make a purchase, be sure to check the sales receipt. It you are at a restaurant, store or gas station, always check the receipt. It is important to make sure the charges are accurate. Mistakes can happen and it’s much easier to correct the mistakes when you are still at the store than after you get back home.

            If you find an overcharge, it can usually be refunded to you as cash, depending on your method of payment. Or if you’ve used a credit card, the overcharge can be refunded as a credit to your account.

            Finally, be really careful when you are using credit cards or debit cards on summer vacation. It’s a good idea to go ahead and sign the back of the credit card, if you haven’t done this, so the sales clerk can check your signature to make sure that it’s accurate.  Make sure you always put your credit card back into your purse or wallet after using it for purchases.

            Take an envelope or small zippered wallet or purse with you to put your receipts in. Put all receipts in the envelope or wallet to have when you return home. Be especially careful about credit card receipts and keep them in a safe location. Don’t leave them lying around in your hotel room. Once you return home and no longer need the receipts for tax purposes or personal travel purposes, destroy the receipt by shredding it. Don’t throw any receipt that has personal information on it, including your credit card number in the trash.

            Lastly, when you return home and receive your credit card statement, be sure to look it over carefully to make sure the charges are correct. If you find anything that looks suspicious, be sure to contact your credit card company as soon as possible.

            Remember, never lend a credit card to anyone, never sign a blank credit card receipt and never leave any credit cards or receipts lying around in your hotel room.

            It is sad to think there are dishonest people in the world, but the fact is there are. Take steps to insure your identity safety. For more information on credit cards or to receive a free credit card register that can be used in the event your cards are stolen, contact the Howard County Extension Office at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse. You can also visit our website at for more information regarding financial matters.

Recipe of the Week

            This recipe is great for summertime snacking! Get your children involved in the preparation.

Banana Pops

1 package (3.4 oz.) instant banana pudding mix (you can use sugar-free, if desired)

2 cups fat-free milk

1 banana, cut into pieces

            Combine pudding mix and milk. Add cut up banana into pudding and blend evenly. Spoon enough pudding/bananas into Popsicle cups to cover bottom. Periodically tap the cups to get any air pockets out. Freeze till set and enjoy! Makes: 4 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving: 160 calories, 0.5 g fat, 4 g protein, 25 g, carbohydrate, <1g fiber, 420 mg sodium, good source of calcium        

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517


The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

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