Travelers outside of the US who use charge while shopping should check their receipts for full credit card numbers. If you see that your copy of any printed (or written) receipt has all 16 digits, request a new card from your bank when you return home.

United States law requires that credit card numbers are obscured on receipts helping to prevent someone from taking in the number and using it online. Consider taking a travelers card (many banks offer it) or stick to cash. Credit cards numbers are often used as collateral at hotels so protect yourself by bringing an unactivated card. Keep tabs on your statements online if you can get reliable Internet (never from cafes) and contact the credit card company as soon as you see something fishy.

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Most countries around the world don’t prohibit the printing of full numbers on receipts, which may leave you open to fraud even months after you return. Although you can certainly decline the charges, it may be hard to keep track of small purchases long after your trip.

[photo by: The Flooz]