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Pickpocketed getting on train at Rapallo (Italian Riviera)

Pickpocketed getting on train at Rapallo (Italian Riviera)

Old Jan 24th, 2014, 02:02 AM
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"Assume a foreigner in a large American city. He jay walks and is stopped by the local police. Asked for ID and he has a passport back in the hotel room. How will that play for a European? for an Asian? for an African? for someone from the Middle East?"

Is there a requirement to carry ID in any large American city? Most people I know use their drivers' license for ID, and there is no requirement for anyone to have a driver's license unless they are driving.
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 05:20 AM
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I am native NY'er and although it has become the safest big city in the US, I am still aware of what can happen.

I was not talking about one's relationship to thieves.
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Well that is the main reason why people do not carry their passports.
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 07:41 AM
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I think michael was trying to point out that in some countries you are required to carry ID at all times, by law. I read it as a response to aw51's comment re locking up the passports in a hotel.

That is a fair point aw51. You could get into a bit of hassle doing that in some countries. Generally speaking though, the police tend to cut tourists some slack in that regard in MOST countries. For example, Greece requires all citizens to carry ID at all times but do not enforce that with tourists. So it is important to know what the 'normal procedure' in that regard is in any country you visit.

Michael, conversely, you cannot give it as a reason why you must carry your passport, in ALL cases. It should be qualified with something like, 'in some countries'.

Regarding precautions while IN a place vs. BETWEEN places. They CAN indeed require different answers. You can in many countries leave your passport in the hotel safe as you say aw51, but cannot while on the move. But that does not in fact mean you MUST have different answers for what you DO carry at any given time.

The problem as I see it is that a lot of people tend to think that a moneybelt protects them. That is false security as far as I am concerned and if those posting here would leave their emotions out of it and consider the issues logically, without having to try and defend that belief, they might come to different conclusions.

Earlier I wrote that there are all kinds of things sold to people to 'solve' a problem that in fact solve it no better than many other solutions. They simply 'solve' it at a cost.

In fact, a moneybelt usually means the person puts ALL their items in one place and that is never a good idea. If someone says, 'your money or your life', you give it up. If you are wearing a moneybelt that means you pull it out and hand it over and the thief runs off with ALL it contains. If instead you reach into your pocket and pull out your money ONLY, chances are the thief will grab it and run off. Not many will stand there and say, 'give me your credit cards', wait till you hand those over and then say, 'give me your passports' and wait till you hand them over. Pickpockets are only ONE way to have something stolen.

So why would anyone think that something they believe will foil a pickpocket is the ONLY thing they need to worry about? Or that a moneybelt will solve all for them?

So the simplest way to reduce your risk (you cannot eliminate it completely) is to separate them. That doesn't change whether you are strolling around a city or moving to a new stop. Money in one velcroed pocket, cards in another, passport in a third. There is no need to BUY anything that will 'provide security'.

You need to protect against pickpockets (try picking a velcroed pocket); muggers; snatch and run (no shoulder bags)and con games. NOT just ONE of those.

Often the simplest answers are the best but people being people will always fall for the 'buy this solution' item. Pacsafe for example have made an entire line of products that prey on the fear of travellers. Moneybelts and neck wallets, etc. are simply more of the same.

Another example currently doing well is RFID wallets. Designed to stop someone from being able to 'scan' your credit cards in your pocket and then clone them to make fraudulent purchases. http://www.magellans.com/small-bags-.../rfid-blocking

You can achieve the same result by simply taking a piece of ordinary kitchen foil, folding it to the right size and placing it in your wallet so that it is between your cards and the outside of your clothes, bag, etc. Costs nothing, same result.

I gave the link to underwear with pockets. Yet again, a solution for you to buy. I don't want to even imagine how that would work when someone sticks a knife in your face and says, 'your money or your life'.

So my point aw51 is that you don't need 'new products to check out', all you need is common sense. Keep things separated. That provides as much protection as anything else and costs nothing.
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 07:42 AM
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Granted that people do not carry their passports because of potential theft. But my point is that a copy for purposes of identification is not officially acceptable and one is then dependent on the kindness of the authorities when producing an I.D. is necessary.

One example: I was doing day trips in Romania, staying a few days at a B&B, when I was stopped by the police in a nearby town for speeding. The car had Hungarian plates. I suspect that I got off with a warning because I produced my U.S. passport. I was not even asked for my driver's license.
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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I think michael was trying to point out that in some countries you are required to carry ID at all times, by law. I read it as a response to aw51's comment re locking up the passports in a hotel.
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The way entitlement is used these days is a sense of getting someone you have earned.

We have traveled in countries with harsh laws and regimes and understand the difference. I would imagine, and I have not checked into this, that just about every country demands that someone who is not a national must carry their passport whether there is a national ID card or not.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 10:36 AM
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IMDonehere and others--

Just did an internet search, and found no requirement that any country requires that you carry your passport on your person at all times. Most countries require that you have or can produce "an identification document."

I'm going to continue carrying a copy of my passport on my person (in my moneybelt) and leaving the original in the hotel safe. In transit, obviously, I'll need to carry the passport with me, and will put it in my moneybelt or in another secure place on my person, just as I have done for years. And I won't take it out until I get safely to my next hotel, where I will have to produce it.

Almost every country wants tourist dollars these days, and it seems unlikely that any country that I would be interested in traveling to is going to jail me because I don't have my original passport on my person. So the risk of my passport being lost or stolen outweighs the risk that some policeman is going to put me in jail just for not having my original passport or a drivers' license with me.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 10:56 AM
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OK. So you're out and about doing your tourist thing. You need to use your credit card. Do you take off your clothes to get at the money belt in your underwear (or bra as someone above has written)? You lift your shirt to get it? Yes, my question is - how do you get to the cash and CCs when you need them if they're hidden away in private areas?

My husband used to use a backpack. On the way up some stairs in the Paris Metro a young man behind him started to open the zipper on his backpack. My husband never noticed. Luckily I did and made some remark and he stopped. Now my husband carries a messenger bag instead. You wear it over your shoulder and can clamp your elbow down on it.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 11:03 AM
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dwdvagamundo

Most countries require that you have or can produce "an identification document."

your choice. But a copy is not a document.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 11:17 AM
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A driver's license is a document.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 11:34 AM
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A driver's license is a document.

and not acceptable in Italy without the IDP.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 11:48 AM
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<how do you get to the cash and CCs when you need them if they're hidden away in private areas?>


You go into a restroom. I mean I don't do this myself but the concept is not so hard to understand.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 12:21 PM
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"...not acceptable in Italy without the IDP."

For driving, true. But we're speaking of an ID, not a traffic stop.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 12:31 PM
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I'm an Italian citizen and I can affirm that it's required to carry an identity document at all times. My husband and I carry our Italian identity cards at all times. The US doesn't have a national identity card, and a driver's license is not an official identity document; it doesn't establish your citizenship, for one thing. Some policemen may give you a break, but they have no obligation to do so, and the law says that you may be held until your document can be produced.

US citizens can now get a small card that summarizes the information on your passport. It's still not considered an official identity document, and doesn't establish how long you've been in the country, but it's more likely to be accepted than a driver's license. My daughter has successfully used it at hotels, because it contains everything they need to put on the form they have to submit to the police. However, she used it only on a trip where she had accidentally left her passport at my house.

It's laughable to think that a policeman on the street would bend over backwards to welcome tourists. They work for the pubic safety office, not the tourist office. Their job would be immeasurably easier if there were fewer tourists on the streets of Rome; probably most of their daily annoyances are caused by tourists. At best, they're totally indifferent to your presence in Italy.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 12:35 PM
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kenav: >>You need to use your credit card. Do you take off your clothes to get at the money belt in your underwear (or bra as someone above has written)? You lift your shirt to get it? Yes, my question is - how do you get to the cash and CCs when you need them if they're hidden away in private areas?
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 12:52 PM
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"A driver's license is a document."

Not acceptable in France for ID.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 01:00 PM
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That's true -- a US drivers license is not accepted as an ID in Europe. Well, it may be somewhere but not in the UK, France or the Netherlands . . .

Also a passport photocopy is not valid ID.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 01:01 PM
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So, let's say I was stopped by the Italian or French police for a misdemeanor of some sort. I can't think of an example. I produce my passport photocopy which isn't considered acceptable. What happens next? For the same of the exercise I'm travelling on my own.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 01:09 PM
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"The money belt/pouch is for carrying the excess bits (i.e. back up credit and ATM cards, passport, excess cash if one is carrying a lot, etc.) One should never EVER access it in public."

Exactly. Your "walking around money" should be in your pocket, handbag, or wherever you like to carry it, easily accessible to you when you want to buy something. If you need more, go into the restroom and get it out of your hidden compartment (whatever that may be).

The whole idea is to limit loss. If someone picks your pocket and gets 20 or 40 euros, well good for them - it isn't ideal, but this isn't going to really impact the rest of your trip. OTOH, if they pick your pocket and get 200 euro, that could put a damper on things. Same if you have 2 or 3 credit cards with you - if one is in your pocket and someone steals it, well, you cancel the card and use the others for the duration. If someone steals all of your cards, you may be dead in the water until you can get replacements.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 01:16 PM
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A driver's license is a document.

and not acceptable in Italy without the IDP.
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I have rented a car many times with just my driver's license and I can't recall the car rental facility requesting my IDP. Besides being stopped by the police, you would think that would be the first place to ask.
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Old Jan 27th, 2014, 01:21 PM
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In Salamanca, Spain everytime I used my cc for a purchase in a store I was asked to show my passport??? I always carry mine when travelling, usually in my front carried fanny pack, under a loose shirt or in my money belt easily accessed or in a pocket sewn inside my waist band. no hassles, no problems and no worries!
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