Go Back   ConsumerTraveler.com Forums > Hot topics > Travel security
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Travel security Discuss your thoughts on safety and security issues on land, air and sea. Discuss terrorism and travel here. Discuss you concerns about travel at home and abroad, in hotels, ships, planes, and while touring.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-05-2012, 11:35 AM   #1
tdew
Senior Member
Über Poster
 
tdew's Avatar
 
Member since: Apr 2005
Location: Bergen Co, NJ
Posts: 4,296
Rep Power: 287 tdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennes
Default Travel warning and considerations

Travel warning and considerations
Hello all,
Here's a warning for anyone who will be driving in southern Italy.
Do not leave the car alone in a service area even for a couple of minutes.
When driving between Rome and Cilento the other day, my friend and I went inside the Service area to use an ATM machine.
We locked the car and there was nothing showing to a passerby.
When we cam out, all seemed fine, except that the unlock button on the key didn't open the driver's door.
We didn't think too much of it and continued on our journey.
It wasn't until our next stop in the small town of Battapaglia that I went to look for further directions that I realized that
my carry on bag with computer and most of my other electronic stuff was gone!
Looking closer at the lock on the driver's door, you can see that the key slot has been mangled.
Our time in the police station in Battapaglia would have been extremely funny, had it not been for such a serious reason.
The police chief had me sit behind his desk and type up the report. We communicated with sign language.
I am happy to report that I was able to use the computer in our hotel and notify my son at home.
He changed all my passwords and turned off my home computer just to be sure that "go to my pc' could not be used.
I had my good camera and phone with me, but the older phone
with the European sim card and my Olympus camera that I liked because of the way it took pictures of lights at night are gone.
Gone too are two portable hard drives, usb drives, wires and connectors. Pictures and stuff I planned to work on had all been
copied from the home computer, so are not lost.
One of my concerns is that in the carry on, I also had a paper color copy of my passport. I don't THINK ? it can be used to harm me,
but I sent a note to the State Dept to ask. The response was non-comittal.
It mostly gave me information about where I can look for more information about identity theft.
Does anyone know if I need to be concerned about the passport copy?
tdew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
Ned
Kishef macher
Super Duper Über Poster
 
Ned's Avatar
 
Member since: Jul 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA
Posts: 16,751
Rep Power: 454 Ned has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesNed has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennes
Arrow

I'm very sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately car break-ins happen all over Europe, and the US and often at service plazas, and restaurants because thieves can usually count on a reasonable period of time to accomplish the theft before anyone returns to the car.

I'm usually a bit paranoid on such subjects, but I would have some concern. If the thieves have access to a blank US passport or a forgery blank, or can sell the copy to someone with that access, they now have all your identity information from the passport to fill out a new one with someone else's photo, but your correct information which is in the passport. The id chip is supposed to be a major hindrance to use the passport or its information that way, but that would only be true for someone using the passport at immigration where they actually scan the passport, not if it's being used for a general id. If they tried to use the passport as a passport, what happens can reflect on you.

Moreover, your computer was stolen, and I'm thinking you didn't take precautions such as password protecting your computer's hard drive so no one could boot your computer without the password, and that your computer's hard drive wasn't encrypted. I don't know what personal information you had on the drive, but add that to the passport copy and that adds up to more potential of identity theft.

So yes, I'd be concerned. Once you're back, I would definitely talk to the State Department about getting a new passport and having the current one cancelled so a forged one with your information couldn't be used as a passport and have it reflect on you.

Let's hear from others with additional info or a counter argument that I'm all wet, which I don't think I am, and if further immediate action should be taken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdew View Post
Travel warning and considerations
Hello all,
Here's a warning for anyone who will be driving in southern Italy.
Do not leave the car alone in a service area even for a couple of minutes.
When driving between Rome and Cilento the other day, my friend and I went inside the Service area to use an ATM machine.
We locked the car and there was nothing showing to a passerby.
When we cam out, all seemed fine, except that the unlock button on the key didn't open the driver's door.
We didn't think too much of it and continued on our journey.
It wasn't until our next stop in the small town of Battapaglia that I went to look for further directions that I realized that
my carry on bag with computer and most of my other electronic stuff was gone!
Looking closer at the lock on the driver's door, you can see that the key slot has been mangled.
Our time in the police station in Battapaglia would have been extremely funny, had it not been for such a serious reason.
The police chief had me sit behind his desk and type up the report. We communicated with sign language.
I am happy to report that I was able to use the computer in our hotel and notify my son at home.
He changed all my passwords and turned off my home computer just to be sure that "go to my pc' could not be used.
I had my good camera and phone with me, but the older phone
with the European sim card and my Olympus camera that I liked because of the way it took pictures of lights at night are gone.
Gone too are two portable hard drives, usb drives, wires and connectors. Pictures and stuff I planned to work on had all been
copied from the home computer, so are not lost.
One of my concerns is that in the carry on, I also had a paper color copy of my passport. I don't THINK ? it can be used to harm me,
but I sent a note to the State Dept to ask. The response was non-comittal.
It mostly gave me information about where I can look for more information about identity theft.
Does anyone know if I need to be concerned about the passport copy?
__________________
Ned

[Visit my Travel Photography Blog, and
Photography website NSL Photography]
Ned is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2012, 01:31 PM   #3
tdew
Senior Member
Über Poster
 
tdew's Avatar
 
Member since: Apr 2005
Location: Bergen Co, NJ
Posts: 4,296
Rep Power: 287 tdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennes
Default

Back home again and it seems that the actual theft was the worst of it. I immediately got in touch with my son and at home had him change all my passwords. That worked well, except for the ones that wanted to send a reset code to my cell phone. I had the phone with me, but it's not one that works in Europe - that one was in the stolen bag. A couple of phone calls to the toll free numbers cleared that up, but it was frustrating for a bit.
The computer did have a password to protect it and there wasn't too much personal info on it. Everything had been backed up at home before the trip, so I didn't actually lose anything. There are no indications that anyone tried to access anything. Maybe the language difference was actually a barrier?
I contacted the State Dept about the passport. They didn't seem to think it was a big deal... but I'm still going to request a new passport.
I bought a new laptop in Rome and was able to get it working as I wanted it to before further travel. The funny thing is that when setting it up, I was asked if I wanted the US keyboard or the European one. Of course I chose US - but if someone else wants to use the computer now, they had better know how to type and where the keys are located, because what prints is not what it says on the keys.
Up until now, I didn't hesitate to leave luggage in the car at a service area because there are always so many people around, but this experience will change that from here on.
tdew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2012, 10:02 PM   #4
bodega
Travel Professional
Über Über Poster
No Avatar
 
Member since: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,191
Rep Power: 170 bodega has disabled reputation
Default

I can only imagine the stress you had with this! I remember when we got to Lake Como from Switzerland, in my exhange student's parent's volvo station wagon, he insisted on nothing, not even a sweat shirt, being left in the car. He open up the hatch cover in the back of the wagon so there was no questioning about what might be hidden. Breakins of cars in Italy is as common as an expresso.

I had a client tell me that when they were in Italy, they parked their car, walked around the corner, remember they left something, went back to the car and it was already being broken into. Less than 2 minutes had passed.
bodega is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2012, 05:31 AM   #5
tdew
Senior Member
Über Poster
 
tdew's Avatar
 
Member since: Apr 2005
Location: Bergen Co, NJ
Posts: 4,296
Rep Power: 287 tdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennes
Default

Well, never again! The only problem we've had driving in Italy before was a few years ago when someone punctured a tire as we waited for a traffic light after visiting Herculaneum. In that instance, we drove on and got to the garage in Naples where Hertz had paid for the parking.

The hardest part of this was remembering what might have been on the computer and getting it changed quickly. Luckily, we could use my friend's email address to communicate with home and get passwords changed. It was good too that the hotels we were staying in had computers available for guests to use.

Now I'm trying to remember all that were changed...

I don't think the thieves were smart ones. They may have been slowed a bit by the plug, the language, the password etc. I keep checking. but there's no indication that they have tried to gain access to anything else.
tdew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-19-2012, 08:49 AM   #6
Loonbeam
Senior Member
Diamond Poster
 
Loonbeam's Avatar
 
Member since: Dec 2005
Location: Marlton, NJ
Posts: 2,931
Rep Power: 249 Loonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph FiennesLoonbeam has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennes
Default

This was actually one of the key reasons we went with a guide/driver in Italy on our recent cruise (pictures to be posted in a bit) who stayed with the vehicle at all times...
Loonbeam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-20-2012, 07:51 AM   #7
tdew
Senior Member
Über Poster
 
tdew's Avatar
 
Member since: Apr 2005
Location: Bergen Co, NJ
Posts: 4,296
Rep Power: 287 tdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennestdew has just been invited to the lav with Ralph Fiennes
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loonbeam View Post
This was actually one of the key reasons we went with a guide/driver in Italy on our recent cruise (pictures to be posted in a bit) who stayed with the vehicle at all times...
A local driver/ guide makes sense if you are visiting a port on a cruise, especially if you want to make the most of your limited time. We too do that when on a cruise. A driver would not have worked for our purposes on this trip.

We were planning to stay in what had been a monastery in the 14th century in the Cilento region, South of Salerno. As it turned out, the location was an hour up the mountain roads from sea level. The place was beautiful, but because of the theft, we didn't stay as long as we'd planned. Instead, I wanted to get back to Rome to see what could be done by computer to limit the damage from the theft.

Pictures:


tdew is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Argentina Travel Warning weblet By land 2 07-15-2009 07:02 PM
Uzbekistan: State Department Travel Warning Update Ned Asia 0 11-02-2007 04:51 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:21 PM.


© 2010 ConsumerTraveler.com · All rights reserved