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                                                                       TRAVELLING ABROAD SAFELY

Airport is an important location where we the traveler meet various kinds of people and hence security is sensitive and vulnerable.

  • When arriving at an airport, pick your boarding pass and quickly move from the public areas to the secure section located beyond the metal detectors and X-ray machines.  Move away from the areas where there are unattended packages or luggage. Staying alert and being aware of your surroundings will decrease your chance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
  • Be aware of the various airport scams, some of which occur at the entrance to the secure area. In one common scenario, your attention is distracted when you place belongings on the conveyor of the X-ray machine, and an accomplice takes them. Targets include laptop computers, purses and expensive briefcases.
  • Baggage claim is an area where criminals can target their victims. Be aware of anybody that may be watching you and note if they happen to appear at your hotel later. If you are in a reputable hotel, you may give the staff a description of the person who you believe is following you.
  •  Prior to leaving for your trip contact your local office, if you have one in your destination city, and determine which taxi companies are reputable or what other means of transport is available. Make sure you negotiate the rate before you leave the airport. You should have some idea of the route from the airport to the hotel or your office.
  • Do not sit in a vehicle where another person (Other than the driver) is sitting with the driver (Until unless that same has been communicated to you). If the other person is your company employee than he should carry your company issued I card and logo with his photo, Name and Employee # clearly visible and prior official company communication to you.
  • Avoid venturing out at night, without a known and reliable escort.
  • Do not be very friendly with strangers and speak only to the point with people whom you are not acquainted with.
  • Women are advised to wear loose clothing as tops (Thighs/Legs should also be covered) possibly wearing a scarf, covering the upper body (Above the tops).
  • It is recommended to stay only in reputed hotels to ensure safety & security.
  • Keep your Cell Phones safely. When not in use, keep it secured in pocket/bag.
  • Keep your credit card in your view, at all times when paying.
  • Avoid exchanging currency for local exchange with unauthorized money exchangers. Make use of Hotel’s Travel Desk.
  • Carry emergency contact numbers for any immediate help.
  • Use seat belt while traveling in car.
  • Traveling between cities by road between 8 Pm and 5 Am should be avoided.
  • Travel with the car doors locked & windows up. Stop at police check points only if flagged down.
  • If a person gestures that something is wrong with the vehicle, do not allow the driver to stop until the car is in a safe area, e.g. outside a major hotel or a place where there are security guards present.
  • Avoid giving lifts to strangers or stop for accidents unless your vehicle is involved.
  • Always carry a charged cell-phone.
  • Carry photocopy of your passport/ visa/ traveler’s cheque while traveling.  
  • While shopping, ensure that you are with the local team, to reduce the risk.
  • Check in for local flights should be made at least 1 ½ hour prior to departure. For International Flights be at the airport 2 hours prior to departure
  • Avoid tap water and ask only for packaged drinking water of reputed brands.
  • Carry your regular medicines along with Doctor’s prescription, in case you are on medication.
  • At the restaurant, do not leave your drink on the table to visit the rest room (There are cases of date rape drugs being mixed up in the drink)
  • Do not ask strangers on the street for directions. Go to a place of business, such as hotel or restaurant and enquire with them.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Most criminals conduct surveillance prior to a criminal act.

In order for somebody to watch you, they must be close enough that you can also see them. To detect surveillance, you must first identify anyone you have seen repeatedly at different locations. Also look for people standing around that begin to walk when you walk and stop when you stop. If you suspect that you are being followed, do not confront the individual(s). Go in to a store or restaurant and call your office or security or local police.  

When you are out walking, walk with confidence, stop and look around occasionally, giving the impression that you are security conscious.

Remember the bad guy doesn’t want to get caught. The criminals will look for easiest targets, and those who appear to be security-conscious will not be very high on their list.

If you think you are being followed while in a car, make several stops and see if the other car stops.

Do not be obvious In what you are doing. You can pull in to a shopping mall, drive through the parking lot and exit the mall without getting out of the car. Did the car following you do the same? Another technique is to make a U-turn when it is safe to do so. 

When driving a car, park in areas that are well lit and near public buildings if possible.

Do not park in dark, remote areas.

As you approach your car, glance underneath the car, as well as in the back seat. A favorite trick of criminals is to hide under the car and as you attempt to open the door, pull your legs out from under you. Use common sense. If a situation does not feel right, avoid it.

Be low-key and unpredictable   

CON ARTISTS METHOD OF OPERATION AROUND THE WORLD 

                 A FREE MASSAGE                            THE FLIRT

     PICK POCKET WARNING

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A man will approach you while you are relaxing on the beach and offer you a massage. Even if you say no, he will try to give you a small sample massage for free. Once he has started, he will hang around and pester you for a rather hefty payment.

An attractive women will approach a lone male traveller, and start to flirt with him. She will ask him if he would like to go to a bar or nightclub with her, and the bill will be extortionate at the end of the night!

Pickpockets will pretend to be helpful locals, and will tell you that they have just seen someone get their wallet or phone stolen - and tell you to be careful. They will see where you check your phone and wallet, and they (or their accomplice) will attempt to pickpocket you later on! They may also put pickpocket warning signs around the area for the same reason.

COMMON IN

alt BARBADOS alt BAHAMAS

COMMON IN

alt ATHENS

COMMON IN

alt EUROPE

            
         THE BROKEN CAMERA   EAGER ENGLISH STUDENTS

 SEEMINGLY FREE PEANUTS

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Someone will ask you to take a photo of them and their group of friends. The camera won't work and when you go to hand it back to them, they will drop it and cause it to smash! the entire group will then demand money for repairs, or pickpocket you during the commotion.

Innocent looking girls will overhear you speak English, and come over to ask if they could practice theirs on you. Their story can quickly turn in to a sob story, and they will ask you for money. This technique is also used whereby they invite you to their favourite cafe, to return the favor. When the bill comes, it will be incredibly overpriced and the girls will be nowhere to be seen.A man will approach you when you are sitting at a table, and offer you some peanuts by pouring them on the table. As soon as you touch one, however, he will ask for payment

COMMON IN

alt WORLDWIDE

COMMON IN

alt SHANGHAI, BEIJING AND XIAN

COMMON IN

alt RIO DE JANEIRO

   
                THE POST CARDS      THE CHARITY PETITION 

                GYPSY KIDS

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A poor looking child will shove a postcard and pen in your face and ask for help writing a letter home. He will tell you about his poverty and make you feel sorry for him, and try and guilt trip you in to handing over some money.A group of children, who often pretend to be deaf will ask you to sign a charity petition and ask for a donation. While you are reading the petition, their hands will also wander underneath their clipboards and rummage through your pockets.A large group of Gypsy children will surround you in the street and hassle you until you handover cash or other valuables. They may also try to sell you newspapers, and open them up to distract you while they pickpocket you.

COMMON IN

alt ROME

COMMON IN

alt PARIS

COMMON IN

alt ROME, MILAN AND FLORENCE

   
    OVERLY HELPFUL LOCAL           THE MAP SELLER

               THE  BEGGAR

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A nice man, who speaks your language, will offer to help you at the confusing looking cash machine. Whilst it may seem like they are being helpful, they are actually memorizing your pin code, for when they pickpocket you later, they may also sometimes run off with your cash.

People will approach you and try to sell you a map. They will unfold the map in your face to show it to you, but this is done as a distraction while their accomplice pickpockets you.

A beggar usually an old or pregnant women will try to guilt trip you in to handing over some loose change. This may not seem too bad but there is often a pickpocket watching to see where you keep your wallet.

COMMON IN

alt EUROPE

COMMON IN

alt EUROPE

COMMON IN

alt WORLDWIDE

   
             THE CLOSED DOOR     FAKE  FRONT DESK CALL

    THE ROOM INSPECTORS

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Your taxi driver (who is on the scam) will convince you that your hotel is closed for refurbishment, but will know of another place where you can stay. This hotel will be ridiculously overpriced. and in an awful location. There have also been cases of these hotels copying the names of popular hotels in a bid to trick tourists into thinking they have actually arrived at the correct hotel, and that the photos online were wrong!

The identity thief will call your hotel room pretending to be from the front desk. They will pretend their is an issue and will ask for you to confirm your credit card details. They call you in the middle of the night, as you are much likely not to go downstairs, to sort it out instead.

Two people, dressed as hotel employees, will knock on your door for a routine room inspection. One will distract you with conversation, while the other steals your valuables!

COMMON IN

alt EUROPE

COMMON IN

alt WORLDWIDE

COMMON IN

alt BARCELONA AND MADRID

   
           CASHIER ON PHONE            SLOW COUNTING

AMAZING JEWELLERY DEAL

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A cashier in a shop will pretend to be on the phone while serving you. What he/she is actually doing though, is taking a photo of your credit card so it can be replicated later.

A cashier will count through your change painfully slowly, and often take pauses, in the hope that you lose patience and just accept the change anyway. However they are counting through a much lower sum than your are owed!

A friendly tuk-tuk driver will tell you that your desired destination is closed, and recommend somewhere else for you to visit. When you arrive, you will meet another friendly man, who will tell you how he buys diamonds or gemstones from the local shop, and sells them for much more back home. The aim is to get you to buy the jewellery, diamonds or even carpets, after being promised they will sell for a high profit when you return home.

COMMON IN

alt BARCELONA

COMMON IN

alt EUROPE

COMMON IN

alt BANGKOK alt NEW DELHI

   
           THE DODGY DOCTOR       THE FAKE POLICEMAN

          THE FAKE TICKET

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An off duty 'Doctor' will approach you and offer to sell you fake doctor documents, promising that you can make a lot more money from them if you use them to make a claim on your travel insurance. The insurance companies know about this scam though, and it will not work

Official looking policemen will approach you and explain that fake money has been circulating in the area, and they need to check your wallet. When they return it to you, it will have some money missing! They may also ask to see your passport or visa and pretend there is a problem, and demand a fine to solve the issue.

While you are queuing for a ticket office, a official looking (but fake) staff member will offer you higher priced tickets to bypass the queue. This can be tempting, but the tickets do not work!

COMMON IN 

 

alt INDIA

COMMON IN

alt MEXICO CITY            alt BOGOTA

alt BUCHAREST               alt BANGKOK

COMMON IN

 

alt PARIS                     alt LONDON

   
          THE PHOTOGRAPHER          THE MUSIC ARTIST

            THE DRUG DEAL

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When you are taking photos (particularly when couples are taking individual photos of each other) a friendly looking local will come over and offer to take a photo of the two of you together. The best case scenario here is that he will ask for a bit of money for his services. The worst case is he will run off with your phone or camera.A friendly and enthusiastic man will grab your attention as you walk past, and ask you to check out his music, before handing you over his seemingly free CD. He will talk to you about how you would be doing him a really big favor by playing it in your home city. When you accept the CD, he will ask for payment and if you refuse, he and his friends will intimidate you until you do.Taxi drivers or tuk-tuk drivers, will sometimes offer you drugs if you are on your way to a party or a night out (particularly full moon parties). when you accept them, fake policemen will just 'happen' to be walking past to catch you - ordering you to pay  a large fine to avoid jail.

COMMON IN

alt EUROPE

COMMON IN

alt USA

COMMON IN

alt KOH PHANGAN

   
            THE THROWN BABY            STREET GAMES

     THE DROPPED WALLET

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A woman will walk up to you and through her baby (usually a doll) in to your arms. While you are in shock and your hands are occupied holding the baby, her accomplices will go through your pockets or bag.

A man will perform a game such as guessing which cup a ball is in, or a magic trick, on the side of the street, and will have a group of accomplices disguised as tourists watching his show. This is to make you curious and want to go over and watch him. While you are distracted and concentrating on the performer, his accomplices will pickpocket you.An empty wallet that looks as though it has been stolen, and dumped on the floor, will be placed on the ground. When you walk past it, your instinct is to check your own wallet to make sure its safe. An onlooker will make note of where you checked for your wallet, and will know exactly where to put his hands when he pickpockets you further down the road.

COMMON IN

alt ROME

COMMON IN

alt PARIS                  alt LONDON

COMMON IN

alt ROME                alt UKRAINE

   
              STAIN ON JACKET                SHOE SHINE

WOMENSELLING ROSEMARY

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Someone will purposely spill something (anything from ketchup to fake bird poo) on your jacket - this could be subtly of by accidently bumping in to you. They will then point it out to you, and offer to help clean it. When they get their hands on your jacket to wipe it clean, they steal whatever's in the pocket.

A man will drop his shoe brush right in front of you. When you pick it up for him, he will thank you by shining your shoes. Whilst it seems like a free gesture to begin with, he will then demand money for the service.

A old women will offer you a sprig of rosemary, which is said to be a sign of friendship. She will grab your hand and possibly offer to read your future. Then, you guessed it, she asks for payment for her services. Oh, and if you don't pay, she starts cursing you and your family - which can be a bit scary!

COMMON IN

alt BUENOS AIRES alt RIO DE JANEIRO

COMMON IN

alt ISTANBUL

COMMON IN

alt MADRID                   alt NEW DELHI

   
 THE FRIENDSHIP BRACELET ROSE FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND

          THE FOUND RING

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Someone will approach you and offer you a friendship bracelet. Regardless of what you say, they will try to take your wrist and begin making the bracelet on you, and ask for payment. This scam can also be used as a distraction, while their accomplice pickpockets you.A man will approach you while you are with your girlfriend, and  offer her a rose. He will then ask you to pay for it at an extortionate price, and make you feel like a bad boyfriend if you refuse!A woman will drop a ring right in front of you and ask if you dropped it. When you say no, she will inspect the ring and prove to you that it's real gold (it isn't). She'll then offer to sell it to you for a much, much higher price than it's worth.

COMMON IN

alt PARIS                             alt ROME

alt BARCELONA                alt CAIRO

COMMON IN

alt PARIS                               alt ROME

alt BARCELONA

COMMON IN

 

alt PARIS

      EXPENSIVE TAXI DRIVER         THE OVERNIGHT BUS

        THE DROP AND SWAP

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Some taxi drivers will take advantage of your lack of knowledge about the area. They will purposely take longer routes, side streets and take routes that are likely to see traffic. Some even have altered meters, where the fare increases at a much faster rate than normal.People will offer travellers incredibly cheap overnight bus travel to get from city to city. You end up paying more than you think though, as they tend to rummage through the bags in the luggage compartment and steal any valuable items.Taxi drivers, waiters, shop keepers etc.  will 'accidentally' drop your change, and pick up similar looking (but less worthy) coins or notes instead.

COMMON IN

alt WORLDWIDE

COMMON IN

alt BANGKOK

COMMON IN

alt ASIA

   
        THE PUNCTURED TYRE         TRAIN PICKPOCKETS

 THE GATEWAY TAXI DRIVER

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Hire cars are usually pretty obvious, and can make you a target of locals. They may purposely puncture your tyre, to then flag you down and kindly offer to help you replace it free of charge. While you are distracted though, one of them will rummage through your car and steal any valuables.Busy trains are one of the most popular settings for pickpockets. People often have to stand in close proximity to each other, and it can be very easy for pickpockets to go through your pockets or bag.When you arrive at your hotel from the airport, the taxi driver will kindly take your bags out of the boot for you. He'll seem in a rush though, and quickly hop back in to the car and drive off as soon as possible. This is because he has actually left one of your smaller and less memorable bags in his taxi!

COMMON IN

alt SAN JOSE

COMMON IN

alt EUROPE                               alt ASIA

COMMON IN

alt LAS VEGAS

   
       FAKE TAKEAWAY MENU 

 

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Scam artists will slide fake take away menus under your hotel door, in the hope that you order from them on an evening where you don't feel like going out. You won't receive any food though, just a frightening bank statement after they have used your card details to make their own copy!  

COMMON IN

alt U S A