How Safe Is Your US Passport? 3 Rules to Follow

How secure are you with the security of your US passport? The US is home to one of the strongest passports around the globe. It's also among the most desired by criminals. These three rules ensure that your passport is safe from thieves while traveling.


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Rule 1: 3 Places to Make Sure You Never Lose Your US Passport

The best way to protect your passport is to keep it secure. Never keep it in any of the following places:

  • Your back pocket is the most convenient pocket to grab
  • A backpack as described above, except that at least you're more likely to notice someone's fling in the back of your pocket.
  • Purse: It's quite easy for pickpockets and thieves to remove you from your purse or gain access to your purse without even realizing it.

Rule #2: Beware of These Travel Frauds

Passport thieves are professional. They don't just act out randomly. They have a series of steps they adhere to increase their chances of running off using your ID. 

  • The Hugger Mugger: Pretending to be drunk and hopelessly drunk, The pickpocket comes onto the tourist and offers him a huge hug...while taking his passport from his pocket.
  • Lost Tourist Possessing a map: the criminal pretends to appear to be a tourist and then can approach an individual to "ask the victim for directions." A map hinders the victim's view of their purse or bag while the pickpocket takes their passport.
  • The distraction Teamwork: While working together, The friendly pickpocket can approach the victim, asking an obvious innocent question. At the same time, a second pickpocket makes off with the victim's purse or bag.
  • The Daily Mail warns readers to be aware of security checks at airports. One commonplace trick: after you have scanned your personal belongings through an X-Ray scanner, the thief cuts right across your face because they have "forgotten" to grab the keys from his pocket. The result? You're robbed of your possessions only long enough to allow his accomplice to steal you in the dark.

 Rule #3: Keep It Secret, Make It Secure

Where do you store your US passport while traveling? You should keep your passport with you while traveling, but what happens once you arrive at the destination? According to some experts, it's best to keep it locked in a hotel safe. Some recommend keeping it in your bag always. Be aware of the hotel's reputation and how you'll spend your day ahead before you choose.

When you're on the go with your passport, the most convenient location to keep your passport is the back of your neck, underneath your clothing, making it appear like it's the only ring that you are Frodo Baggins.

How Do You Replace a Lost or Stolen Passport?

While only a tiny percentage of Americans have their passports stolen or lost every year, you do not want to be among the unfortunate ones. However, these kinds of incidents can occur even with the most effective safeguards. What should you do if it occurs to you? If you've misplaced your passport to another country, head straight to the nearest US Embassy to get help.

Should you lose your passport while in the US, then apply for the replacement in the person at a passport office. Find out the information you'll require here. In the US, replacing the passport of a person who has lost or stolen it may take as long as six weeks to complete normal service. If you request expediting through a post office, this will take approximately two to 3 weeks. For quicker service, set up an appointment with the nearest office of the passport agency. Many people cannot make the trip to a passport bureau due to distance and timing limitations. Thus, a better alternative is to utilize the services of a passport expediting company.

About This Author

Philip Diack is Founder and Managing Director of Passports and, a national passport and travel visa service with offices in Atlanta, Miami, Washington, DC, NYC, Denver and San Francisco.

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