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As winter sets in throughout the southern hemisphere travellers look north to escape the chill. A summer holiday in Europe is something everyone dreams of doing at least in their lifetimes.
Unfortunately, the massive crowds that descend on Europe during these summer months also offer opportunities aplenty for pickpockets, scammers and thieves to ply their trade on unsuspecting tourists.
Here are some simple steps you can take so you don’t end up becoming another statistic during your Euro vacay:
Your passport that is. Avoid carrying it when and where possible and always try to keep it locked in the safe of your hotel room when you’re out and about. Apart from being a major inconvenience to reissue whilst you’re on holiday, criminals can use it to steal your identity. If however, you should be unfortunate enough to have your passport stolen, contact your travel insurer’s 24/7 Emergency Assistance team and they will be able to assist you in obtaining a replacement by putting you in touch with the closest Australian consulate or embassy.
Instead of keeping all your money in one place, mix it up a little – put some money in your travel wallet that you wear around your neck and underneath your clothes and put some (a smaller amount) of money in your purse or wallet. So should thieves steal one, you still have the other.
ATMs scams are on the rise and very much in favour with criminals – they will stand near by, watch or record your PIN number, steal your wallet and empty your account. In other instances, thieves will befriend and distract you whilst you are withdrawing cash and with sleight of hand steal your key card. This is a trend that started last year and has been on the rise ever since. Be extra vigilant when getting cash out of an ATM.
With the rise in ride share Apps tourists now have the option of not having to rely solely on taxis to get around town. When getting into a cab ensure the meter is in working condition and if the cabbie tells you the ‘meter isn’t working’ jump out of the cab as soon as possible and hail another one! Private hire companies that offer a flat rate are also an alternative to traditional taxis, although it does not come without its own problems with instances of private hire drivers attempting to charge unsuspecting tourists hiked up fees. In most instances, a ride sharing App like Uber may be your best bet.