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Brits Urged To Be Vigilant Following Flurry Of Petty Crime Abroad

  • 30 per cent of Brits have been a victim of crime while aboard.
  • Most don’t report the crime because they think it’s partly their fault.
  • 23 per cent Brits been stranded abroad without access to cash. 

British holidaymakers are being urged to be vigilant while on holiday this year, following a flurry of petty crime abroad.

Research from my Travel Cash Prepaid MasterCard® reveals that two fifths of British travellers have had something stolen1 while on holiday, but most don’t report the crime because they think it’s partly their fault.

Cameras, sunglasses and money are the most likely things to be stolen , however it is not unusual for traveller’s iPads, Kindles and even passports to go amiss.

my Travel Cash’s study also showed that one in four Brits (23 per cent) have been stranded abroad without access to cash, with 30 per cent of those reporting that this was as a result of being a victim of crime2.

my Travel Cash identifies Spain as a holiday hotspot for Britons with 87 per cent3 of people picking a Spanish resort as their favourite destination. Spain has the second largest number of reported thefts in Europe, closely behind Belgium. Pickpocketing is particularly high in the main cities, especially in places where tourists crowd into small areas.

my Travel Cash offers the following top tips to avoiding typical pitfalls when heading abroad:

Don’t carry cash

To avoid repeatedly paying for ATM charges, travellers often opt to withdraw lump sums of cash when abroad, which could make them vulnerable to loss or theft. Using a prepaid currency card means that ATM charges can be minimised, removing the need for holidaymakers to carry lots of cash with them and giving them peace of mind.

Choose your bag carefully

Select a zip-fastening bag that goes across the body and can be positioned in front of the body. Always remember to close zips. If your bag is snatched, don’t chase the perpetrator, and report the crime to a Police Officer.

Beware of dynamic currency conversion (DCC)

When using a credit or debit card for shopping abroad, tourists are often given the option to pay for the transaction in their own currency rather than the local one – which is portrayed as being more convenient – this is called Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC). Rather than DCC simply showing the customer what the amount translates to in their domestic currency, it usually uses a less favourable exchange rate meaning the traveller pays extra. Tourists can choose to pay in local currency with a prepaid currency card to avoid paying these additional charges, as this kind of expense can add up during a family holiday.

Opt for an additional card

Prepaid currency cards, such as those offered by my Travel Cash, also come with the added benefit that if the card were to be stolen or lost, the customer’s personal bank account is not linked to it in any way. We advise customers to take out two cards on their account, so a stolen card can be blocked as soon as the theft is reported and any unused balance can then be transferred to the spare.

Distribute your valuables

A good tip for keeping valuables safe is to make sure they are not all in the same place. When out and about it’s advisable to carry only what you need. Keep valuables you don’t require, in a secure place such as a hotel safe. When you are out keeping some spare cash in various different places other than in your wallet could help if you were to run into trouble. It is never a good idea to keep valuables in your back pocket.

Be discrete

It is easy to see how tourists on holiday can draw attention to themselves rifling through the unfamiliar bank notes of another currency when making a payment. It’s best not to make a scene when doing this and carrying a prepaid currency card means it can be avoided altogether.

Tourists should be aware of their surroundings when on holiday, making sure they take the necessary precautions to ensure that their trip goes off without a hitch and ensure they can concentrate on spending quality time with the family.

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Notes to Editors:

my Travel Cash prepaid currency cards offer competitive exchange rates. The cards benefit from Chip & PIN protection and no link to your bank account.

The cards can be used at over 35 million merchants and any of the 2 million ATMs worldwide that display the MasterCard Acceptance Mark. All my Travel Cash Cards provide a generous 1% cashback on all purchases made and a dedicated 24/7 Customer Services team is on hand to help. my Travel Cash also offers a currency home delivery service.

The Express Delivery option allows cards to be delivered in just 1-3 working days and is free for orders of £800 or over. For orders under £800 a fee of £5 will be added to the order.

Visit for information about terms, fees or to order a card by completing the quick order process.


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22,535 people were surveyed in Dec 2012
3Survey conducted by my Travel Cash of 490 UK adult respondents in November and December 2014