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Old 01-23-2003, 06:00 PM   #1
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Topicassport scam

tp [guest] from Everyone.net email
passport scam Posted 9-5-2002 14:07

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Watch out!

Im in Madrid and the other day I was walking down a busy street and a BMW with two guys in suits pull over to the side of the road and the guy in the passengers seat flashes something that appeared to be an official card of some sort.
He asked if I had my passport on me and I said no. He then told me to empty my pockets to prove that I wasnt carrying it. They even asked me to show them that I wasnt wearing a money belt around my waist.

Later, I found out that there are people posing as under cover police or authority figures asking for passports from tourist.

Why? There is a big underground scam (usually mafia from many different countries) that steel passports and sell them.

The 4 most wanted passports are USA, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, and JAPAN.

DO NOT UNDERSTAND ANY CIRCUMSTANCES, SHOW OR GIVE YOUR PASSPORT TO ANYONE THAT IS ASKING TO SEE IT, UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY, CATEGORICALLY, UNEQUIVOCALLY SURE THAT THE PERSON ASKING FOR IT IS A POLICEMAN WEARING A POLICE UNIFORM.

WALK AWAY AND KEEP WALKING AWAY IF THEY ARE NOT DRESSED IN A POLICE UNIFORM( IF THEY JUST FLASH A BADGE, ITS NOT GOOD ENOUGH!).

Make a photo copy of your passport and carry that with you and keep your passport hidden in a safe place.

Be on guard at all times!
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Old 04-17-2003, 09:41 PM   #2
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That's a really scary reality! Thanks for sharing that!
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Old 04-20-2003, 08:18 PM   #3
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Just an update on that passport scam that I was almost taken by.

It happened to me again! This time by three skinny guys, that looked middle eastern-ish (like the other guys), only this time, the three guys were in, what looked like an old 80s Renault with super noticable dings and a cheap flat black paint job, AND the only guy that tried to dress up was the guy in the passenger seat wearing a purple Barney colored Ross Dress for Less suit with a yellow dress shirt on. Get real! That style went out in the mid 80s! This is true!
I was crossing the street and when I got to the other end I heard the passenger seat guy calling me and as I walked to the car, I realized what was going down, so when I got up to the car I leaned and did my Robert Deniro "What? What?!" loud and with my hands up mid-way in the air. The guy looked at me and kind of froze like it was his first time. So I turned around slowly like he was wasting my time because he didnt know what to say, and while I continued to stare at them, I maintained my Academy award winning imitation of Robert Deniros "Jake La Motta" in Raging Bull scowl.

If I hadnt been warned about this the first time, I would have showed the passport to the first car that stopped me last year.

AGAIN, FOLKS! DO NOT PULL YOUR PASSPORT OUT FOR ANYONE ON THE STREET EXCEPT GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS/POLICE. NOT A GUY WITH A SUIT AND A BADGE! HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT KIND OF BADGES THEY CARRY IN THE COUNTRY THAT YOURE TRAVELING?
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Old 04-21-2003, 10:56 AM   #4
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lol, i think their attire would have tipped me off, as well! ^_^
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Old 04-28-2003, 10:18 AM   #5
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Yeah, tell me about it :D The sad news is, I'm sure some people fall for it.
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Old 04-28-2003, 10:54 AM   #6
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Damn, that's too funny Tone! Lol

Yes, scammers prey on the weak & gullible. So be street smart & travel in groups in seedy areas if possible.
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Old 01-07-2004, 12:29 AM   #7
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not sure if this applies, but:

a very good friend of mine has gone missing in Taiwan, after going to teach ESL.
it has been many months, and does not appear that he's just gone back-country.

his mom, who has gone to Taiwan to look for him, believes very strongly that he was killed for his passport.

i would really like to post more warnings on here, but don't know where the appropriate place is, if any.

feel free to e-mail me at cooldice23@travelpunk.com
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Old 01-07-2004, 09:15 PM   #8
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wow...that's awful. A mothers worst nightmare I;m sure. And it's even worse that he just disappeared and was never heard from again. Hope your friend turns up.
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Old 01-07-2004, 09:54 PM   #9
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OMG! That is terrible...I'm sorry about that...I think the worst thing is never knowing what happened to this person you love!!!
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Old 01-11-2004, 06:17 AM   #10
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Sorry to hear that, cooldice.

As far s posting more warnings...just start a new topic in this forum and we'll find the best place to put it.
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Old 03-23-2005, 11:17 PM   #11
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I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I have had a friend go missing before, and he turned up dead in a river and no one knows what happend all they know is that he didnt drown.

also thanks for the tips about the passport scam it was very helpful.
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Old 11-28-2005, 01:18 PM   #12
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can you just tell these people to FUCK OFF or do you just walk away and not say anything?
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:41 PM   #13
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well you could but then that might lead to more of a confrontation id personally just take the piss out of them have my fun and lauph then be on my way
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Old 01-12-2006, 09:02 AM   #14
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My grandparents, who are VERY experienced travelers (160 countries- Afghanistan is next on the list!). Had this scam pulled on them in India of all places. They said the guy was very official looking, but they didn't fall for it because they heard of the scam before.

Their recommendations go even further than the recommendations here. They say, don't even show your passport to a cop on the street, because they might not be real cops. You can show a copy, but don't remove your actual passport. Instead, if someone approaches you, tell them you'd like to go to the police station first and THEN show them. Don't let them tell you they don't have time for that, because what is their alternative- arrest you and take you to the police station anyway?
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