4 steps to follow if you’re ever robbed abroad

November 12, 2014

Robberies occur all the time, even on holidays. Here are four vital steps to follow if you’re ever robbed while abroad to help you report and recover from the experience as quickly as possible.

4 steps to follow if you’re ever robbed abroad

It’s not something you want to think about when planning your vacation, but the truth is that tourists often get robbed while abroad. Below are a few tips on how to prepare yourself in advance, and four vital steps to follow if you are robbed.

Prepare for the possibility

One key thing to do is always make copies of all important documents such as passports, driver’s licences, flight itinerary and travel insurance. Leave a hard copy with friends and email a copy to yourself. However, the precautions don't end there:

  • Get travel insurance that covers theft, loss of luggage and medical costs.
  • Make a master list of every valuable you're bringing, complete with serial numbers for things like cameras, laptops and other electronic devices.
  • Do your homework and understand where the dangerous areas are in your destination. Do not go out at night alone.
  • Avoid dressing like an obvious tourist. Loud colours, guidebooks and cameras around the neck are a flag for potential thieves. Try to blend in as much as you can.
  • Be confident when walking. Do not get distracted by taking photos or looking at maps.
  • Do not carry all your valuables with you at all times. Bring small amounts of money and distribute it in different pockets. Consider having a wallet that has a few dollars that you’re happy to part with in case of a mugging, while your real money and valuables are in a safe place such as a hotel safe or money belt.
  • Don’t get so drunk that you make poor decisions or are vulnerable.

If you get robbed...

Getting robbed could possibly mean one of several scenarios including your hotel room was broken into and items taken, or your knapsack stolen from the back of a taxi. Worse, you may get held up in person by someone with a weapon. The biggest tip?

  • Simply give the thieves what they want. Everything is replaceable in life – except your life. Stay calm.

Immediately following the robbery

There are four important things you should while you're travelling abroad if ever you find yourself the victim of thieves.

1. Contact the authorities without delay

Dealing with language barriers can be incredibly frustrating, but informing the local authorities is vital.

  • Even if the police can’t retrieve your possessions you'll need a copy of the police report for insurance purposes.

2. If your passport was stolen, promptly contact the local Canadian embassy

The passport needs to be reported stolen so no one else can use it or pretend to be you.

  • If you planned ahead, you'll have copies of your passport. They help make it easier and faster to get a replacement.
  • If you really want to be “Boy Scout” prepared, bring two approved passport pictures with you on your trip, just in case.

3. Call your travel insurance provider right away

They will need to know what has gone missing and will request a copy of the police report.

  • When you speak to a representative of your travel insurance provider, jot down details of the call as a record of what action has been taken. You may be unable to recall the specifics later on.
  • Your insurance provider will also advise you regarding any emergency funds you may be entitled to receive, if it is a provision of your particular policy.

4. Get in touch with your bank immediately

If your wallet has been stolen, immediately contact your credit card companies and bank to report the theft.

  • The last thing you want is the thieves going on a spending spree with your money

Although most peoples' holidays go off without a hitch, being prepared to act in an emergency situation – such as a robbery – is always a good idea.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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