Thursday, May 17, 2012

Brazil: American Tourist, 63, Detained Over Credit Card Problem

A US tourist, Robert Scott, 63, was detained by police in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday night (May 16) when he attempted to leave the country without satisfying an outstanding US$7,000 hotel bill, claiming that his credit card was not usable because of fraud.

COMMENT: Eventually, Scott's family in the US paid his hotel bill after police contacted them.  Considering that credit card fraud does occur fairly frequently, much more responsibility is demonstrated by being transparent and acknowledging a problem with hotel management, rather than attempting to conceal a problem and attempting to leave the country.

As many of our regular readers know, I strongly recommend that all foreign travelers carry at least one debit card and two credit cards, with the stipulation that one of the credit cards NOT be used in the country that one is in so as to have a "clean" card that can be used in the event the other credit card is declined because of fraud.

Travelers are also urged to notify their card issuers BEFORE leaving home that they will be traveling in certain countries, as many issuers will decline a credit card transaction if such a notification has not been made in advance.