Check out the best exchange rates recently secured by customers on CurrencyFair*

Our unique marketplace can give customers access to exchange rates that are often better than what the banks or brokers can provide.

* Source: The rates shown are a combination of either recently secured exchange rates by our customers or the best available rate on CurrencyFair.com at that time. The "LAST 7 DAYS" and "LAST 30 DAYS" views are dated from today.

Get Started

CurrencyFair.com Blog

Money Transfer Companies Compared

If you are trying to decide which is the best way to move your money abroad (or receive money from another country), this article Money Transfer Companies Compared is exactly what you need.  Money transfer companies compared

Below are all the different options for making international money transfers. We’ll help you with some common questions like:

Visit CurrencyFair Now

Continue reading

UK Experts on Buying Property in Australia: Everything You Need to Know

sydney-buildings

You’ve fallen in love with Australia and you want to call it home. Now what?

Even if you have a good understanding of real estate in your home country, you may find that things aren’t done the same way abroad. Property experts can help clients navigate the tricky parts of buying real estate overseas, and Brits thinking of buying property Down Under have several such experts whom they can turn to.

Continue reading

Expats and Overseas Retirees Should Know These 25 Tax Specialists

expat-tax-prep

When moving to or from the UK, managing finances can be especially tricky. Don’t be confused by tax rules in a new part of the world. Whether an individual needs to file their taxes or a company wants to establish a tax department at the office, a tax specialist can help with these issues and more.

These 25 UK tax specialists focus especially on overseas retirees and British expats.

Continue reading

Identity Theft Abroad: What Expats Can Do to Protect Themselves

phone-airport-expats

Identity theft can be a particularly harrowing experience for expats because it can underscore the vulnerability you always feel to some degree in your new country.

Even when you’ve put in the time and energy to connect with other expats and built up a network of friends and business contacts, having someone steal your identity can leave you feeling all alone.

And while expats as a category don’t appear to be specifically targeted by identity thieves, anyone who travels abroad for business frequently is 66 percent more likely to become a victim of identity theft, LifeLock reports.

Here are the steps you can take to protect yourself against identity theft, and what you can do if you are targeted.

Guarding Your Offline Documents

Identity theft gets illustrated as cyber crime or something limited to the realm of hacking. In reality, however, people often get their data stolen in the most mundane ways.

“Is your desk in open sight?” personal finance journalist Jean Chatzky writes. “Could someone walking past see information that … [could] be used to impersonate you for the purposes of getting credit or a job? The more data points a smart id theft can compile on you, the better a shot he or she has at success.”

This also extends to the places where you keep these documents. If you keep all of your sensitive materials in one place, you risk turning your storage space into a treasure chest. “Don’t keep your cards, money and passport all in one place,” the team at AIB writes. Instead, spread the risk around by having your documents stored in several places. “Take good note of where you keep them and this makes it more difficult for you to lose them or have them all stolen.”

Chatzky reminds everyone to pay attention to what documents they leave out in the open. Anything containing sensitive data that can be discarded should be run through a paper shredder, she says.

hacker-expat-identity

Protecting Credit Cards and Bank Cards

The financial information (and access to money) your credit cards and bank cards contain are particularly valuable to thieves, who get increasingly more sophisticated in their methods of breaching that data.

Among the most common scams is the use of card skimmers at vulnerable cash machines. These can swipe the data from your bank card and give thieves direct access to your bank account.

Sid Kirchheimer, who has made a career out of researching such scams, offers several good tips at the AARP blog for identifying a cash machine that has been compromised:

  • Go for cash machines inside of bank lobbies. Their locations make them far less likely targets for anyone who would try to install a skimmer.
  • Check the card slot on the machine for a flashing light. If the light is obscured, it may have been tampered with.
  • Check the keys, particularly “Enter,” “Cancel” “Clear.” If those keys stick, someone may have attempted a less sophisticated method of tampering that leaves your session open when you step away from the machine.

Writer Jess Signet points out another kind of scam to be aware of. “If your card has an RFID chip in it (and can be ‘tapped’ to pay), it may be vulnerable to RFID skimming, she writes at YouRoam. “Unlike with traditional credit skimming, the criminal just needs to be within a foot of your card. A small device can actually scan the card’s information and store it for later use.”

However you protect your cards, be sure to turn on fraud protection alerts at your bank, and regularly check your accounts for any suspicious activity.

Securing Your Personal Technology

Your computer and mobile devices are the richest sources of personal data, whether a thief accesses them directly or remotely.

And device security isn’t a one-time measure, but an ongoing practice. The UK’s ActionFraud centre has a helpful infographic that covers the basics of security, which includes regularly changing passwords and enabling two-factor authentication wherever possible.

For iPhone users, the recent legal battle between the American FBI and Apple has elevated the conversations about how users can secure their smartphones. For instance, The Intercept’s Micah Lee reported in February that a random 11-digit passcode is strong enough to protect a phone from brute-force entry. That means if someone finds or steals your iPhone, they would need access to a Herculean amount of processing power just to crack the passcode.

Identity theft expert Robert Siciliano has a few more personal tech best practices that will help safeguard your data:

  • Only use WEP, WPA and WPA2 networks when accessing public WiFi. Even then, only use an https connection, which is indicated by the little padlock beside the URL in your browser.
  • Back up your data daily, both to local storage and cloud storage.
  • Don’t access any sensitive websites such as your online banking service from a public computer.

passport-expat-identity

Automating Your Protection

As mentioned earlier, automatic alerts on your bank accounts are a must, and you can create a similar passive security layer for your personal devices. “Turn on remote tracking and wiping software on your phone so that if it is lost, you can locate and/or wipe the data off from anywhere,” writes the team at security company Sileo.

Additionally, if you are going to be abroad for a relatively short period of time — maybe a year or less — look into freezing your credit, White Lighthouse Investment Management founder Jonathan Lachowitz writes for the Wall Street Journal. A credit freeze can make it more difficult for identity thieves to access your credit report or open a new line of credit in your name. However, this option only works for expats who are certain they won’t need a new line of credit while abroad.

Finally, writer and expat Susan Johnston Taylor, also writing for the WSJ, suggests it might be worth looking into signing over power of attorney to a trusted person back home. That person could act as a person on the ground in case of an emergency or in case you sell a large asset back home. “Some expats give a parent or other trusted relative power of attorney if they need someone to act on their behalf and finalise the sale of a car or house after a move,” she writes.

Expats who retire abroad could especially benefit from having such a legal arrangement. “Aging populations often set up financial power of attorney in case they’re incapacitated so that a child or niece or nephew can pay other bills or do things on their behalf in case they’re incapacitated. The need varies depending on your situation, but, of course, be careful who gets that power.”

In the Event of a Personal Data Breach

Even the best-laid security plans can falter, however, so it’s good to have a mental plan for what to do in case someone does steal your personal information.

The Identity Theft Resource Center says your first step should be to assess the damage done, audit what’s missing, and wall off the intrusion as much as possible.

If your credit or bank cards have been stolen, contact the relevant financial institutions and close accounts tied to those cards. When you open new accounts, be sure to use a completely new password. Likewise, if someone has gotten into any financial accounts and locked you out, you need to act quickly and inform the financial institution.

Nerdwallet has an excellent infographic that outlines a few further steps:

  • Inform the local police of the theft. Make sure they file a report and that you get a copy.
  • Freeze your credit.
  • Be prepared to contact a legal professional to help you navigate the laws that have jurisdiction.

images by: ©halfpoint/123RF Stock Photo , ©flynt/123RF Stock Photo, Jackmac34

Customer Stories – 6,600km On A Harley Davidson – Real Savings With CurrencyFair

We receive a lot of feedback here at CurrencyFair. Whenever we get something specific, a real-life example of how saving money on international transfers can make our customers happy, we love to share.

So, last week, when Rab Smith left a review on our TrustPilot page, we just had to follow up.

Rab spotted this beauty online, and as he was planning to visit Scotland soon, it made perfect sense to, well, buy a Harley Davidson.

Obviously.

harley-davidson-uk-fatboy-1

Continue reading

What Would a Brexit Mean For Expats?

brexit-expats

A “Brexit” is, depending on which newspaper you read, the most dangerous idea to ever be suggested in Britain – or the last chance to affirm independence and break away from a dysfunctional and failing union.

It’s getting increasingly difficult to find an unbiased and calm view of the pros and cons as the referendum approaches (June 23rd). What would a Brexit mean for British expats living abroad though? Would it affect the quality of life beyond exchange rates and visas alone? We’ve scoured the internet to find the most likely scenarios and how that might impact on expat life.

Continue reading

The Ultimate Moving Checklist

moving-house-checklist

When it comes to moving abroad, a good moving house checklist is the difference between a well organised and smooth transition to your new destination, and having to react to unexpected mishaps and stress along the way. The key is knowing what to expect so that you can nip any complications before they become serious hurdles.

Continue reading

First-Time Moving Abroad? Bookmark This Advice From Veteran Expats

expat-advice-paris

Expats love to give advice. The “been there, done that” crowd can be found doling it out on blogs, in forums and at meet-ups around the globe.

And there’s a lot to consider, especially if you’re doing it on your own, and aren’t being transferred by a corporation that takes care of those pesky things such as visas, work permits, health insurance and housing.

If you’re thinking of an overseas job, whether it’s a transfer or you need to find employment, read on. We’ve gathered checklists, advice and slice-of-life examples from experienced expatriates to help you organise your thoughts and plans.

Happy travels!

Continue reading

The Traveler’s Refuge: 20 Great Expat Bars from Around the World

group-expat-bars

All expats at some point seek out familiarity when they are in a foreign country. It’s a fundamental part of getting comfortable in a new home.

For some people, that means regular Skypes back home or the occasional weekend Netflix binge. For many others, that means getting a pint and surrounding themselves with people who can relate to their experiences.

A good expat bar brings those people together. Whether it’s a cozy pub in continental Europe, a whiskey bar in Southeast Asia or a gin joint in Morocco, an expat bar becomes a kind of community living room where you can slip into your native language without guilt and find reliably good conversation.

Or you can nurse your ale in the corner. Either works.

Here are 20 expat-friendly bars around the world that serve this purpose for their local communities.

Continue reading

14 UK Real Estate Agents and Property Experts Focused on Spain

sunset-property-spain

Britons love getting a slice of Spain.

In fact, of the 46,000 homes in that country sold to foreigners last year, the largest group of buyers was British. Mark Stücklin, a Spanish real estate business expert writes on his site, Spanish Property Insight, that British buyers were responsible for 21 percent of the purchases by foreigners in 2015, pushing foreign demand for property in Spain to a record high.

We’ve looked before at property and investment consultants, individual estate agents and real estate companies that might be helpful if you’re looking for an investment opportunity in Spain. This time, we’re listing 14 Spanish property estate agents and experts who are based in the UK.

Continue reading

Expert Tips on Building an International Professional Network Using Social Media

chat-networks

Twitter, which started as a hack to broadcast status updates, just turned 10 years old. Facebook was born in 2004, and LinkedIn two years before that. Social media are not new, but using social media to build a professional network is still a work in progress.

We’ve looked to the experts for best networking tips and which platforms to use — as well as how to use them effectively. We’ve also discovered those places that look at networking as no more than glorified boasting.

Continue reading

CurrencyFair