How to avoid card fraud at the 2014 FIFA World Cup

Sao Paolo will host the start of the largest tournament on the planet tomorrow evening when Brazil takes on Croatia in the 2014 World Cup and fans from across the globe will be arriving over the next few days.

The number of flight enquiries from English fans over the past couple of weeks has mushroomed and keeping safe from card fraud will be imperative due to the fact that 30 per cent of all Brazilians have experienced such crime in the past five years.

This could be exacerbated by the fact that two of Britain’s largest foreign exchange suppliers were woefully short of the Brazilian Real just last week, Travelex seeing demand grow by over 1,000 per cent, and it will mean many English fans using cards to access cash.

Thankfully fraud expert Andy Morris, who is the Solutions Lead at ACI Worldwide, has published a list of six top tips.

1. Enable geolocation

Location services offered by mobile devices make it easier for banks to detect and prevent fraud, and a number of financial services have implemented schemes that verify the location of a mobile device is the same as the place of purchase. Check to see if your bank offers this service and opt-in as figures show that 80 per cent of transactions are declined abroad and most of these are legitimate.

2. Bring a back-up card

Taking a second debit, credit or pre-paid card is something that many visitors to Brazil will be doing and it means quick access to money if for some reason the primary payment method is unavailable. Pre-paid cards are a safe alternative to cash and are not linked to an account so no credit check or bank account is required to obtain one.

3. Set-up "Notify me" alerts

Use notification services offered by banks to be told about all manner of account activity through SMS, email or any other contact offered. This includes when ATM withdrawals are made, deposits put into accounts, or balance checks.

4. Beware of the ATM

Before using an ATM look at it and only insert a card if it looks reputable, is in a lit-up area, and there’s no evidence that someone has tampered with it. Sticky pin pads, false fronts, attached cameras and cash traps are all ways that fraudsters will look to take advantage.

5. Access emergency cash

A handful of banks provide emergency cash whilst abroad with no extra fees to use it, subject to authorisation. Customers just have to identify themselves at a branch and they will contact the UK to authorise a money transfer.

6. Online Banking

Try to bring your own computer and when going online use secure networks that require passwords, use encryption and are private. One red flag to look out for is additional fields when filling in online banking details and this should be enough to log out, close the session and contact your bank.