How the scam works:
When traveling abroad, there are many potential issues that a person may need to be concerned about, but typically paying for hotels, food and shopping with plastic was not one of those things.
However, the dynamic currency conversion scam proves that getting your cards stolen or losing them is not the only thing you need to worry about.
The way the DCC scam works is, when you use your credit card internationally, you have the option to have the charges show up on your bill in foreign currency or the currency of your home country.
Typically, it is more cost-effective for travelers to pay for things in the currency of the country in which they are traveling due to the exchange rate. Why is that?
By paying in your own currency means you are the subject of two conversion fees: the local AND your own. You pay double. Tourists don't realize, but that's exactly how it works. It may not be a lot of dollars, but if you do 25 transactions during your trip, say 'bye' to over $100 that could still be there.
Depending on where you travel, often merchants will not convert the currency on your card – even if you ask for it to be done – and you are charged the additional funds, as well as your cards typical foreign transaction fee.
How to avoid:
When using your card in a foreign country, always ask the merchant to honor the conversion to the local currency. In the event that the charge isn’t converted on your card, it is wise to photograph your original receipts – showing the purchases being made in rubles or rupees, whatever the currency may be. That way, you have ammunition with which to prove the fallacious charges to your credit card company.
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