In 2015 alone, over 21,000 Brits reported that their passport had been lost or stolen, with consulates around the world issuing over 30,000 emergency travel documents to help get people home. This suggests that many Brits fell foul to thieves and pickpockets, and most importantly spent their holiday money (£100) and valuable time at the local Consulate or Embassy trying to get home.
To encourage Brits to be #PassportAware, the FCO has launched a new campaign to make people aware of the risk to their passports and valuables whilst abroad. A key part of their campaign is the ‘Passport Hustle’ video, which shows crime expert James Freedman demonstrating four techniques used by thieves to swipe a passport from your possession, and offers tips on how to avoid becoming a victim.
Each scenario is shocking in its simplicity, ranging from simple pickpocketing and sleight of hand, to posing as city officials and helpful strangers. The video can be viewed below;
The FCO’s top tips for keeping your passports safe are:
Be aware of your surroundings and strangers who take an unusual amount of interest in you
A damaged passport cannot be used for travel, so value it and keep it safe
Lock your passport in a safe
Make two photocopies of your passport – leave one with friends or family and take the second with you, or store an electronic copy securely
Check the entry requirements of your destination before you go
Ensure you fill in the emergency details before you go
Also remember to purchase travel insurance which includes cover for lost and stolen passports before your depart. Visit Holidaysafe.co.uk for more information on award winning travel insurance.
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