Some thieves specialize in hanging around tourist spots to spot the tourists and make them victims of hands-on crime such as purse snatching or a mugging. But don’t wait till you’re aimlessly wandering the piazza with your face buried in a huge map to take precautions against less violent forms of crime.
- Before traveling, make copies of your driver’s license, medical insurance card, etc., and give these to a trusted adult. Have another set of copies in your home. Scan them and email to yourself.
- Never post your travel plans on social media until you return. You never know who’s reading about you.
- Before departing from home, make sure your credit card company and bank know of your travel plans.
- Clear your smartphone or other device of personal data that’s not essential for your trip.
- Travel on a light wallet. Take two credit cards with you in case one is lost or stolen. Have with you the phone numbers for your bank and credit card company, just in case.
- Avoid using Wi-Fi in coffee houses, airports and other public areas other than to just read celebrity gossip or catch the news. Use a VPN. Google it.
- When traveling internationally, read up on the safety of food and water and get whatever shots you may need.
- Never give your credit card number to the hotel staff (or at least, anyone identifying themselves as hotel staff) over the phone in your hotel room. The call could be coming from a thief posing as hotel staff telling you they need your number again.
- Never leave anything out in your hotel room that reveals personal information, such as a credit card receipt, passport, checkbook, medical insurance card, etc. If the room does not have a safe, then have these items on you at all times.
- Use only an ATM that’s inside a bank, never a free-standing one outdoors somewhere. Cover the keypad with your other hand as you enter the PIN to thwart ATM skimmers.
ROBERT SICILIANO, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com is fiercely committed to informing, educating, and empowering Americans so they can be protected from violence and crime in the physical and virtual worlds. His "tell it like it is" style is sought after by major media outlets, executives in the C-Suite of leading corporations, meeting planners, and community leaders to get the straight talk they need to stay safe in a world in which physical and virtual crime is commonplace. Siciliano is accessible, real, professional, and ready to weigh in and comment at a moment's notice on breaking news.
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