Thieves still find airports a rich hunting ground even though security measures have tightened all over the world. Travelers should stay alert from their arrival at the baggage carousel to their departure in the taxi waiting outside. Cautious travelers will arrive at their hotels with all of their possessions. Here are some common scams that thieves use to dupe the unwary.
Going through airport security is one of the easiest places where scammers can strike. Thieves work in pairs. One person will delay the line at the X-ray machine. The other quickly takes items waiting on the conveyor belt to be scanned before the owner can stop the theft. Foil the plan by keeping eyes on the belt always.
Travelers waiting at a gate often leave suitcases unattended. Guard your luggage and don’t let anyone distract your attention. A partner in crime could make off with suitcases while you are looking away.
Free WiFi lets you check your emails but scammers can hack airport networks and steal personal info such as bank account details and account passwords. Set your privacy settings on “public” and use the airport WiFi for only innocuous web browsing.
The “bump and run” trick is as old as the hills, and the baggage carousel is a prime location for thieves. One scammer bumps into you and diverts you with apologies while the partner steals your wallet or purse. Keep valuables firmly in your grasp and keep an eye out for your luggage on the conveyor belt.
Most tourists who are juggling their wallets, mobile phones and passports are prone to shove them into pockets while navigating through the airport. Pockets are easy pickings for professional thieves. Don’t put valuables in the open pockets of suitcases. Keep valuables tucked into inside jacket pockets or handbags and keep bags fastened.
Avoid scam taxi drivers by agreeing on a price before you get into the car. This will protect you from an unscrupulous driver who claims his meter is broken or who finds that a traffic jam forces him to take a long and winding route to the hotel.