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Protect Your Credit and Debit Cards While Traveling This Summer!

Steps to take to protect yourself and your bank and credit accounts while traveling.

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.

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. If 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 have 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 salesclerk 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. Do not 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.

Another option is to have the receipt e-mailed to you. If you choose to take this option, be sure to check your email to confirm you have received the receipt. Set up a folder on your computer to keep receipts.

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 ensure 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 the website for more information regarding financial matters.

Recipe of the Week

This recipe was served at the recent Chamber of Commerce Coffee hosted by Howard County Extension Homemakers. This recipe is great for weekend brunches. I often make it for family and friends.

Orange Cream Scones

  • Scones:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/3 cup sugar

  • 1 T. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. salt 1 T. orange zest, zest of 1 orange

  • ½ cup cubed butter, cold

  • 1 large egg

  • ¼ cup sour cream

  • ¼ cup heavy cream, more for brushing

  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

  • Glaze:

  • 3 T. butter, melted

  • 1 – 1 ½ cups powdered sugar

  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract

  • 2 T. freshly squeezed orange juice

  • 1 tsp. orange zest (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with cooking oil).
  2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest.
  3. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter (or use a stand mixer) and mix the dough until the butter is about the size of peas, and the dough resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk egg, sour cream, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Mix with the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
  5. Turn the dough out onto floured surface and pat into a 1” thick circle.
  6. Cut into 8 triangles. Place scones on parchment lined baking tray, making sure the scones are evenly spaced apart.
  7. Brush the tops of each scone with a little bit of heavy cream, and bake for 15-16 minutes, or until scones are golden brown.
  8. While the scones are cooling, mix together melted butter, powdered sugar (starting with 1 cup), vanilla extract, orange juice, and orange zest. If the glaze seems too thin, add in the last ½ cup of powdered sugar.
  9. Pour the glaze over cooled scones.


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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