Keep passports safe: Typical looter scams revealed

The UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has described pickpocketing as “endemic” in Rome in particular, and it is one of a 5 European cities that sees a many Brits remove their valuables to a disreputable thieves.

Pickpockets are famous to work around airports, categorical steer stations and renouned traveller hotspots. “When criminals are seen in buses and subterraneous carriages mostly Italian members of a open will cry out warnings: these should be taken seriously,” a FCO warns on a website.

It has also launched an recognition debate as a arise holiday deteriorate gets underway, propelling travellers to keep their passports safe.

James Freedman, a police-appointed UK Fraud Prevention Ambassador, has suggested a standard techniques used by pass thieves to aim victims.

In a special video for a FCO campaign, a secrecy crime consultant warns holidaymakers to be on a surveillance for a following 4 standard scams.

The imposter

An gullible traveller hands over her pass after being shown a ‘police badge’ Screengrab: FCO/ YouTube

This fraud involves a burglar posing as a military officer or other management figure, who fast walks off with your pass in palm after requesting to see your identification. 

The Clean-Up

Helpful foreigner or cunning pickpocket? Screengrab: FCO/ YouTube

If a accessible foreigner points out that we have been strike by bird poo and offers to assistance massage we down, beware. It might be a con-artist who has planted a mark with a perspective to removing tighten and pickpocketing his plant while they are distracted.

 The Check-In cheat

Passport swiped from underneath tourist’s nose during check in desk. Screengrab: FCO/ YouTube

Holidaymakers uninformed off a craft are mostly targeted while they check in to their accommodation. A bustling hotel accepting and dreaming guest stuffing in forms can yield abounding pickings for a burglar who usually has to lift a passports true off a front desk.

‘Taking Things Easy’

Filching a pass from a coupler on a behind of a chair. Screengrab: FCO/ YouTube

The final common unfolding shown in a video involves a traveller enjoying a caffé in a balmy piazza, profitable some-more courtesy to his partner than his belongings, that embody his pass stored within a slot of his jacket.

The burglar accidentally takes a chair during a circuitously table, slips his possess coupler on a chair and afterwards slips a pass from his selected plant as he pretends to strech into his possess pocket.

Watch a video:

“With temperament burglary on a rise, a tangible cost of losing your pass could be thousands of pounds. Criminals and con-men are always elaborating a tricks they use to aim tourists, though a few elementary precautions will unequivocally assistance we to stay safe,” warns Freedman.

“Only lift what we unequivocally need and keep income and other valuables in a secure slot or bag. Remember that if we put bags down, they should always be in your line of sight. If we don’t need your pass and other valuables when you’re out and about, leave them during a hotel. Above all, trust your instincts and be wakeful of anyone invading your personal space.”

Tobias Ellwood MP,  The UK’s new FCO apportion said:“While we should all suffer a holidays, it is critical that we sojourn observant about valuables – quite passports. Becoming a plant of burglary or losing your pass could hurt your outing and replacing a pass will cost income and profitable holiday time.

“By following a elementary tips enclosed in these videos we can minimize a risk of descending plant to thieves while abroad.”

The FCO advises a following:

  • Be wakeful of your vicinity and be heedful of strangers who take an surprising volume of seductiveness in you.
  • A shop-worn pass can't be used for travel, so value it and keep it safe
  • Lock your pass in a protected if we have entrance to one, or if we are compulsory to keep it with you, safeguard a plcae is not visible
  • Make dual photocopies of your pass – leave one with friends or family and take a second with you, or store an electronic duplicate securely. Where permitted, use your photocopy as choice ID, for instance when going out during night
  • For certain countries your pass contingency be current for 6 months after a date we transport – check a entrance mandate before we go
  • Ensure we fill in a puncture sum / subsequent of family page before we go

For transport advice email a FCO’s travel recommendation team or contact internal consular staff. Follow or @ukinitaly on Twitter.

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