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Old 07-07-2003, 12:46 AM   #1
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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.
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Old 07-07-2003, 02:31 AM   #2
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I honestly can´t remember if I had to hand it over for a night or two, as I was not aware of any passport scams three years ago. However, now, I simply let them copy the info and nothing more. It is standard procedure that they verify you by your passport and they will copy aall of your info on it. This protects them, should there be any damages to the romm that you just rented.

I would seriously be suspicious these days of anyone asking for it as collateral. It´s just way too risky!

Thanks for bringing that up, Glacier, as it will be something that all backpackers will be faced with throughout their travels!
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Old 07-07-2003, 06:38 AM   #3
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I would be very wary of hostel thar wanted to keep my passport for any matter time. There is a statement on the inside of my Canadian Passport that says "This passprd must be guarded in everyway". To me that means don't give it up, don't loose it, do not use it a calateral.

This info is taken from the inside of the passport for the records of the hostel, If they tell you they wanna keep it, that you make my radar go up. find another place i would say.

Passports are a hot item on the black market, especially North American or Australian or Britsh ones....do not let yopur fall into the wrong hands.
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