Twelve Ways to Trick Thieves As You Travel
protecting your valuables on the road
| Avoid becoming
a prime target for thieves. Choose your travel wardrobe carefully,
eliminating bright colors and fancy jewelry. The smart woman
traveller wants to remain as inconspicuous as possible.
|| Be vigilant
at airport check-ins and at train and bus stations. Always keep
your luggage in front of you where you can see it at all times.
a computer? Don't send it through x-ray security check until
you're ready to go through yourself. Scam artists work in teams.
The man in front of you holds the line up by deliberately leaving
change in his pocket and setting off the metal detector. While
you're waiting to go through, his partner is picking "your"
computer off the conveyor belt.
carry a light scarf in your bag. It's perfect for tying your
camera bag or your computer to your luggage cart. Imagine a
thief's surprise when he tries to "snatch and run."
ideal travel handbag has an inner zippered compartment and is
only big enough to carry a bit of money and a few essentials.
It should also have a long shoulder strap that's thick enough
not to be easily cut. Wear the strap across your body with the
purse in front, against your stomach. Get used to keeping a
hand on your bag at all times. With that kind of body language,
pickpockets will not even bother to come near you!
if someone tries to mug you, avoid harm by giving your purse
up immediately. Because...you'll be carrying your real valuables--
your extra cash, credit cards, travellers cheques and bank cards
under your clothes, next to your body in a cotton money belt.
if you're uncomfortable with a money belt, consider a women's
unique half slip called "Hidden Assets" which has three secret
pockets sewn into the hem. It's ideal for carrying your valuables!
double lock your hotel room door. And, if you can't do this
where you're staying, then never leave your valuables unattended.
It's no effort to bring your purse or moneybelt into the bathroom
when you're showering. This way you know they're safe.
your alcohol consumption down when you're out and about. If
you don't have your wits about you, you become a vulnerable
target or... you might even leave your credit card behind at
a restaurant and not know it's gone until you're in the next
per cent of the people who offer a traveller food or drink are
simply being kind. Be very wary of the remaing 1%. Drugging
is always a possibility and you could wake up to find all your
money and credit cards gone.
never count your money in public. This is an open invitation
to be robbed.
to fool thieves completely? At your destination, buy something
at the local grocers. Then use their plastic bag to carry your
wallet and your camera. No one will never guess that you're
toting money and a Kodak rather than milk and cucumbers!
Help! my cards are gone!
is the Royal Bank's Manager of Retail Foreign Exchange Services.
Journeywoman asked what she would do if her credit card and
bank card were stolen in a small town in Italy at 11 o'clock
in the evening.
I've prepared properly, this theft would only be a terrible
inconvenience, not a huge calamity. Here's a few of my know-before-you-go
1) Diversify your money--
take travellers cheques, credit cards, bank cards as well
as cash (U.S. cash is best because it's recognized in most
places). Never carry everything in the same place.
2) Be prepared!
Before you leave home, record (in triplicate) the numbers
on your travellers cheques , credit cards and bank cards.
The same applies to all the 800 numbers you might need to
report a theft. Leave one list with someone at home, one
goes into your money belt and one stays in your suitcase.
3) Be creative!
Hide your emergency money in strange places-- a vitamin
pill bottle with a few pills in it is great. The bottle
isn't see-thru and thieves are generally not interested
in your Vitamin C.
4) Be very sure
to check the restrictions on your credit cards. Did you
know that some cards are not replaceable internationally
if they're stolen?
5) Ask your bank
for an extra client card. If the first is taken, you still
have the second one to withdraw cash with.
A Journeyman Bonus Tip
When other travellers
ask you what you do for a living and you're not sure if
they can be trusted, tell them you're a policewoman on
holiday. I do it all the time just to be on the safe side.
(Source: Evelyn Hannon, Editor Journeywoman)
Automated Bank Machines
Do's & Taboos of withdrawing cash
- Check your surroundings
-- if the ABM is in a poorly lit or hidden area, use another
- Have your card ready
-- don't wait until the last minute to go through your purse
to find it.
- Use your body to
hide the transaction so that anyone behind can't see you
entering your PIN number.
- Never leave your receipt behind
-- always take it with you for your records.
- Suspicious about anything?
Cancel your transaction and leave immediately!
Beware Tourist Con Games
In Brazil, bag slicers
are common. Your pocket, knapsack or soft-sided suitcase is
slit open with a concealed razor, often you don't even feel
it, nor suspect the innocent looking child or smiling lady
standing quietly beside you. Beware tourist con games!
(Resource: Sandy Huff, Travel Writer, Safety Harbor, Florida)