if my credit card is stolenWhen you leave the comfort and safety of your own backyard, especially if you’re traveling outside the country, the last thing you want to deal with is having your credit card stolen. Whether it happens the old-fashioned way by someone stealing your wallet or you’re the victim of cybercrime, there’s no worse feeling than the sinking realization that your credit card is missing or, worse, being used by someone other than yourself. Things get even more complicated if you discover the fraud while you’re out of the country, especially if you have no backup method of making payments. If you’re planning a trip abroad, here’s what you should know about the potential of becoming a fraud victim while you’re out of the country.

Never limit yourself to one form of payment

While it’s certainly more secure to use a credit card to pay for purchases while you’re traveling, it’s best to always prepare for the worst case scenario. More than one payment card is certainly a good option (note that you’ll want to make sure you keep them in separate places), but you’re better off ensuring that you’ve always got some cash on hand in addition to plastic. Not comfortable carrying cash? Although they might seem completely outdated, traveler’s checks are still a viable option offered by most banks. Unlike the paper checks you might be used to, these checks can only be cashed with your presence and signature, making them a secure option, though you might have some trouble finding any place other than a bank or sometimes hotels to use them. Still, it’s worth having a few on you whenever you leave the country to act as an emergency option in case you experience fraud or get robbed, or you can’t find a working ATM. Push comes to shove, you can try and have someone wire you money, but that could get expensive for the person sending the money.

Make sure to call and report the fraud immediately

Whether your credit card is stolen from you directly, or you’ve just tried to use an ATM or pay for a souvenir and encountered an error message, it’s important to contact your credit card company immediately. As detailed by this post from CreditCards.com, most credit card issuers have specific numbers to call if you’re overseas, so make sure you use the correct number. It’s vital that you report your credit card as lost or stolen as soon as possible — not only does waiting increase your time away from home without access to a secure form of payment, but you’re also putting yourself at risk of violating your credit card’s $0 liability policy. Additionally, once you report the fraud, you can work on getting a replacement card.

It is possible to get a replacement credit card while you’re away from home

Although this may not be doable in some countries or areas of the world, depending on where you are and which credit card provider you’re dealing with, it’s not totally impossible to get a new credit card while you’re traveling. The best way to find out what your options are is to call your credit card’s emergency line and talk to them directly. If you don’t have a verifiable address where a new card can be sent, or you aren’t going to be traveling long enough for a new credit card to arrive, you might be out of luck until you can get home to your own mailbox. That’s why, as we outlined above, it’s vital to always carry backup methods of payment.

Wondering which credit card to get for your next trip abroad? Check out our guide to credit cards with the best travel perks, as well as our list of the top travel rewards credit cards for international travelers to narrow down the perfect card for you. Learn more about protecting yourself financially by following our personal finance blog.