Tourists ‘let guard down’

[inspic=9,left,,0]UK holidaymakers are leaving themselves open to identity theft by letting their guard down when they go abroad, a new survey has found.
A telephone survey of more then 2,000 people, commissioned by financial services company Capital One, discovered 45% don’t use safes provided by hotels and leave passports and personal documents out in the open where they can be stolen.
A further 34% said that they keep passports on them at all times while 20% prefer to hide them in their hotel room, but not in the safe.
The Identity and Passport Service confirmed that last year alone 300,000 people lost or had their passports stolen.
Professor Martin Gill, a criminologist at the University of Leicester, said: “I’m not sure many of us would leave our iPods or wallets lying around our apartments and hotel rooms, yet people seem to forget passports and personal documents could be worth far more to fraudsters.”
Capital One principal managing director Sanjiv Yajnik added criminals were now targeting passports and other personal information that can then be used for financial fraud.
He added: “Holidaysmakers may return home to find accounts set up in their name, transactions they know nothing about on their bank statements or activity in their name that they are unaware of.”
An ABTA-backed Family Safe Holidays website allows holidaymakers to securely register information such as passport numbers before they go abroad.  Also for insurance purposes, people need to look after their valuables as they won’t get a payout if they don’t use the hotel safes.

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