It is likely that you will encounter robbery in a foreign country if you let your guard down. Such street crime is not organized skillfully but rather improvised depending on the situation in which you put yourself at a particular moment. Once you appear as a target by lazily swinging your handbag or pulling out your wallet in public, you will be robbed. Therefore, this post is meant to give you tips on how to avoid becoming a victim of robbery abroad.
1. Protecting yourself
It is important that you perform a little research on your vacation destination before embarking on the journey. Dig up information about potential robbery hotspots to avoid them when you reach your destination. Also, learn about the laws native to the country you’re visiting, customs and a bit of their language. The latter will enable you to ask for help from locals and the police in cases of distress.
Make sure to make copies of vital documents such as passports, travel reservations, visas and identification cards. Keep a copy with you and give another to a trusted person at home. To speed up the recovery of a stolen credit or debit card, photocopy the card clearly showing the emergency number. However, make sure to keep such vital information away from reach.
Try to blend in
Once you are abroad, try not to look like a foreigner. Observe the trends of the locals, how they walk, clutch their bags, handle their electronics and how they carry themselves along the streets. You should stay sharp to adapt to every changing environment to avoid standing out and becoming a target. For instance, find out how the locals handle their expensive goods when in public gatherings.
Always be alert
Crowded areas such as parks are potential areas in which you can get robbed. Therefore, stay aware of your surroundings. Excessive drinking will leave you vulnerable especially in an unfamiliar company. Consequently, turn down any drinks from strangers especially if you didn’t see it being poured. Pickpockets and thieves may approach you requesting for money or directions. Such acts are meant to distract you as their partners reach for your goods.
Expensive electronic equipment like cameras, phones, tablets or PCs should only be used if need be. If you would like to take a picture, have your camera strapped in place and tuck the straps in the jacket in a way they can’t be pulled over your head easily. Avoid using PC on cafes or roadside grab-and-go restaurants.
Never play the hero
If armed robbers approach you, it is critical that you comply with their needs to save your life. Rush decisions can put you in harm’s way. Seek help from the police afterward when you are no longer in danger.
2. What to do after a theft case
Contact the police
Make sure to contact the police imminently to file a report of the occurrence. The report helps identify your goods in case they are retrieved. Besides that, it is an important tool to help you claim insurance compensations. Document the specific details of the robbery such as the location, time, and the stolen goods.
Reach your embassy or consulate
This is a vital step particularly in the case of stolen or lost passports. The consulate will offer you with a new passport if your report holds up.
Contact your card providers
When your wallet gets stolen alongside with your debit/credit cards, contact your card provider to cancel them and to apply for new ones. Since the process of renewing a credit card can go for days, it is important that you always have an alternative access to money for your upkeep until you get the new cards. One way to access money is to contact a friend from home to send you some cash via money transfer methods.
File for insurance claims
To file an insurance claim, make sure you have all the receipts that can help estimate the value of money stolen from you. Such receipts include currency conversion receipts, medical bills, replaced items and other travel payments. The police report will also help you big time at this point.