Holidaymakers left £414 out of pocket by conmen

13 August 2012

Holidaymakers are being warned to take extra care of their possessions, as 7% of British tourists admit to losing out to thieves and conmen while abroad in the last two years, according to new research.

On average Brits had £414 worth of cash and possessions stolen, according to Sainsbury's Finance.

"We go on holiday to relax and spend time with our family but unfortunately, our research reveals that for some Brits this time can be marred by falling victim to local crime," says Jo Nola, spokesperson for Sainsbury's Travel Money.
Unsurprisingly, thieves target cash first, with nearly two-thirds of holidaymakers having had cash stolen from them. The next most popular target for thieves is wallets or purses, then mobile phones, cameras, clothing, watches and iPods.

What may come as a surprise to many holidaymakers is that the majority of thefts saw items taken from people's hotel rooms. After that you're most at risk on public transport and at tourist hotspots.

To minimise your risk, spread valuables in several different bags and never carry large amounts of cash and cards together in your wallet. Also, don't carry your wallet in your back pocket, as it is easier for thieves to part you from it there. When in your hotel room make sure you use the safe.


Here are some common techniques used by thieves that you should be on your guard against:

The seatbelt fine
A taxi driver pretends you need to pay a fine for not wearing a seatbelt and hands your money to his partner, a fake policeman.

The beachcomber
A thief watches you on the beach then takes your bag while you are swimming in the sea.

The distraction dupe
One fraudster distracts you with a false story while their accomplice goes through your bag or pockets.

The bus breakdown
The bus driver pretends your bus has broken down in the middle of nowhere and forces passengers to pay more money to be collected by a second bus.

The note switch
A taxi driver or barman takes a large denomination note from you, such as a €20, then switches it and shows you a smaller one, claiming you owe him or her more money.



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