Holidaymakers urged to take extra care of their belongings

By | Category: Travel news

Holidaymakers are being urged to take extra care of their personal belongings while abroad, as new research reveals that around seven per cent of Britons who have travelled abroad in the past two years have fallen victim to conmen or thieves. According to the findings, the average value of money or possessions stolen was £414.

The research, by Sainsbury’s Travel money, reveals that of those people who suffered from thefts or cons in the last two years, almost two thirds (59 per cent) had loose cash taken while nearly one in four (23 per cent) had their entire wallets or purses taken. Other stolen items included credit or debit cards (14 per cent), mobile phones (12 per cent), cameras (10 per cent), clothing (10 per cent), iPods or similar devices (7 per cent) and watches (six per cent).

Thefts or cons are most likely to take place in hotel rooms or on public transport, according to the research, with 16 per cent of victims saying it has happened in each of these locations. Some 13 per cent have fallen victim at a tourist attraction, 13 per cent while walking down the street, and 10 per cent while on the beach. Another one in 10 (10 per cent) have been duped or robbed in a bar, 9 per cent at an ATM and 6 per cent while in a car, the same percentage as those who have fallen victim while in a shop.

The research also reveals an array of techniques thieves and conmen have used to swindle Britons whilst abroad in the past two years, including:

“The seat belt fine” – the taxi driver pretends you need to pay a fine for not wearing a seatbelt and hands your money to a “policeman” he is in cahoots with, or disappears round a corner to pretend he is paying an official at the airport

“The beachcomber” – the thief watches you on the beach then takes your bag or possessions while you are swimming in the sea

“The distraction dupe” – one fraudster distracts you with a false story or by making conversation while their accomplice goes through your bag or pockets

“The bus breakdown” – the driver pretends your bus has broken down in the middle of nowhere and forces passengers to pay more money to be collected by a second bus

“The note switch” – a taxi driver or barman takes a large note from you, then switches it and shows you a smaller one, claiming you owe him or her more money

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