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Planning Retirement Online

Ageing Traveller Series

The Ageing Traveller series is written by Rose Howell, who has been traveling the world for over 40 years, beginning with New Zealand and then the ‘Hippy trail’ in the 70’s. Her travels have taken her to; Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, South America, USA, Canada, China and the Pacific Islands. In total she has visited 67 countries plus all the states of Australia except Western Australia, and her goal is to make the century club. Her passion for travel is documented on her website www.ageing-hipsters-travel.com.

Click here to find out more about Rose.

WATCH OUT!!!
They are waiting to get your valuables. They don’t even have to steal your bag to get them.

Dramatic?

Yes, because credit card fraud is rife and I have personally experienced having my purse stolen and the headache of cancelling credit cards and losing everything (including Australian money and health cards etc).

What happened? A long story but the short version is, as I was going up the escalator in the Berlin train station, towards the toilets, someone stole my purse out of my well packed bag.

I remember someone coming up on my left in such a hurry they bumped into me and I believe in the confusion someone following behind got my purse.


Train from Berlin to Prague before noticing the theft

Unfortunately I didn’t know until 5 hours later when we arrived at our hotel in Prague. That was when the fun started. You see, you have to report a theft to the police so as to get a written report for insurance.

There we were at 11pm reporting the theft through an interpreter. We finally got back to our hotel at about midnight.

In addition, I had to ring MasterCard and Visa (yes I had two cards) to cancel the cards. One card was linked with my husbands as well so he was only able to use our debit card to get cash.

What other hassles are there?

  • You can’t hire a car without a credit card. “No madam, you can’t pay cash, we need a credit card to book a hire car” said the Budget Hire person.
  • You can’t stay in a hotel without leaving a credit card at the desk.

**And yes they did go on a short spending spree in those 5 hours paying approximately $3,000 on airfares to Canada of all places. But we were lucky that we got all that money back from the Credit Card Company plus cash from the Insurance. But I had to buy a new leather wallet myself.

So this leads me to credit card fraud.

The use of Pay Pass or contactless payment technology has grown considerably – most of us use it daily even when we are not travelling.

According to the Australian Payments Clearing Association (APCA) in 2015 about two million Australian issued cards were attacked resulting in more than $400 million of fraudulent spending.

Your cards are vulnerable at all times even whilst in your pocket. The communication technology is in continual standby mode, waiting to fire up when detected by a reader. The scary part is, thieves can download a free app, which can turn their phone into a device capable of reading personal information from a tap-n-go card or ePassport.

Others use more sophisticated and high powered skimming equipment, then harvest data from your cards by simply being in the same vicinity or just brushing past. The information is then sent offshore for shopping or exploitation.

But there is good news. There is a device that guarantees to block your card from being read.

Armourcard at armourcard.com.au (Australian company) is TSA approved and cleared to go through airports.
It is:

  • Similar size to a credit card
  • Fits in your wallet
  • Designed to detect someone skimming your card
  • Emits an electronic force-field of 10cm around your cards
  • Jams the signal to ensure your funds identity remains secure
  • Has its own power source and will block all signals no matter how strong they are
  • You can temporarily disable by pressing your finger on a switch so that you can use your card as normal

Note: Jamming is illegal but Armourcard is fully FCC (Federal Communication Commission) approved and certified for this device.


Screen dump of Armourcard site

So for you next trip stay safe.

Cost and where to get it.

In Australia they cost about $59 and are available from JB Hi-Fi, Harvey Norman and Tech2Go at airports.

For UK and other readers you will need to check online for more information on where to buy or other products similar.

Rose Howell Biography

Rose has been traveling the world for over 40 years, beginning with New Zealand and then the ‘Hippy trail’ in the 70’s. Her travels have taken her to; Asia, Middle East, UK, Europe, Africa, South America, USA, Canada, China and the Pacific Islands. In total she has visited 67 countries plus all the states of Australia except Western Australia, and her goal is to make the century club.
She has taken all kinds of transport and accommodation from budget to luxury. She has travelled through war zones, survived a bus accident in the Andes and visited areas that are no longer available to tourists, such as the Khyber Pass and Bamiyan Statues in Afghanistan.

Rose wants to inspire others to travel and offers free advice to all travellers in particular those who are embarking on their first travel experience. She has a passion for travel and since retiring from an Adult teaching position with TafeSA, has recently resumed clocking up kilometres interstate and overseas.
Her daughters have inherited the travel bug from their parents. The eldest daughter is a travel journalist/documentary maker based in a beautiful area called ‘Byron Bay’ in New South Wales and with her husband, has two globetrotting toddlers who at the age of 5 and 2 also love to travel. Her youngest daughter and fiancé have recently returned from 2 years working and traveling in the UK and Europe. They have only been home a couple of months and are already getting restless. Oh the travel bug!!!!

You can see more of Rose's travels on:
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