I've just read the passport scam mentioned above and it made me remember…that on another site, someone mentioned that some European hostels take your passport as security when you stay there. I have a couple of questions:
1. Is this true? (I stayed at a variety of hostels when I travelled through Canada… mainly HI hostels, I must admit… but I never had to hand over any such security. They obviously asked to see some ID but never asked to keep it).
2. Is this practice common in Europe?
3. Would you ever do it? Even if the hostel and its employees looked trustworthy, I'd still be hesitant in handing over such an important thing as my passport - I'd be less concerned with a drivers licence but still wouldn't hand it out either willy-nilly. Who knows what will happen- i.e. what they do with it and how safe it will be.
4. If this is true, do they accept photocopies instead?
So I'm just trying to find out if it's a myth, a one-off, or common practice in European hostels. I'd like to be prepared. Thanks.