Backpackers – protect yourself against passport scams

If you’re heading off on an around the world trip this year please read our tips or precautions you can you take when being asked for ID or your passport by someone who claims to be an official.

There have been reports that in some countries, criminals act as official police in order to either steal your ID/ passport or bribe you. We have compiled some tips to guard yourself against identity theft. Look at your location first of all. Are you in an airport, border crossing, checkpoint or anywhere where an official would have reason to check your passport? If so then it is much more likely to be genuine.

Assess the official asking you for your passport, military and police uniforms are very distinctive, and these officials are often armed. If someone is just wearing jeans and a t-shirt, then it is much less likely to be genuine.

If you’re trip involves overnight travel on a bus or train that crosses country borders, it’s worth showing the a photocopy of your passport and visa page – of course have your original documents to hand to show if the officials are legitimate.

Another thing to remember is that hoteliers often ask to see your passport, keep hold of it, or make sure your passport is in sight. Do not let them take it off you to photocopy in the back office.

Don’t forget to pack your Backpacking travel insurance!
You can purchase great value backpackers insurance direct at 24/7 travel insurance. For a 2-month trip in Asia, will cost you just £20.82* – a small price to pay to really enjoy your backpacking adventure all the more!

*Premium £20.82 includes Insurance Premium Tax based on an individual aged under 36 taking out a ‘Standard’ Backpacker 24/7 travel insurance policy for 2 months in Asia. Cover details and prices are correct at time of going to press (July 2010) and are subject to change.