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Travelex website taken offline after cyber attack

Travelex website taken offline after cyber attack

Holidaymakers have been left unable to use foreign currency firm Travelex's website or app for days, after its online systems were suspended due to a software attack.

Last week, the firm said it had taken down its online systems as a protective measure after it discovered the software virus attack on New Year's Eve, and had drafted teams of IT specialists and cyber-security experts to fix the issue. 

And the Press Association has now reported that it understands Travelex is being held to ransom by hackers, who are threatening to release customers' personal data unless the firm gives them cash. The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation.

While customers can't use the Travelex website or app while the systems are offline, they can go into Travelex branches to use foreign currency exchange services there. 

Firms which partner with Travelex for their foreign currency exchange services - such as Asda Money, First Direct, Sainsbury's Bank and Tesco Bank - have also been affected. These firms' sites are currently displaying messages saying their online currency services are unavailable due to the issue. 

See our Cheapest ways to get travel money guide for overseas spending tips.

I'm a Travelex customer – what can I do?

Travelex customers are currently unable to use any of its services through its website or app, meaning customers can't order cash or top up their Travelex money cards online.

Travelex has told customers on Twitter they can top up their cards through Mastercard's Multi-Currency Cash Passport website instead.

However, to spend abroad at top rates with no fees, your best bet is a specialist overseas debit or credit card – we've full help and best buys in our Travel Credit Cards guide.

And if you need cash for your trip, while you can still exchange currency in person at a Travelex branch, check our Travel Money Max tool which compares rates at about 30 different online bureaux first so you get the most bang for your buck.

What does Travelex say? 

Last week, Travelex chief executive Tony D'Souza said: "We regret having to suspend some of our services in order to contain the virus and protect data.

"We apologise to all our customers for any inconvenience caused as a result. We are doing all we can to restore our full services as soon as possible."

Additional reporting by the Press Association.