Standing in Lines During Customs and Immigration Can Be a Bigger Hassle Than You Think

November 19, 2014

No normal human being enjoys standing in long customs and immigration lines. Pushing your suitcase with your foot and silently hoping to be let out of the restricted area without further incident is only part of the misery associated with international air travel. Grumpy customs officers, nonsensical secondary inspections, and smelly fellow travelers are a pain to deal with. However, those irritants are harmless for all practical purposes.


Modern identity thieves know that travelers will probably notice missing wallets and passports fairly quickly. However, you might not notice if the information from your passport and credit cards is stolen until ample damage has already been done.

Stealing Information Is Often More Desirable Than Snatching a Purse

Your cards and passport all have small chips embedded in them. These chips give off waves which can be picked up. Your information can be silently stolen, and no one will notice. After all, snatching a purse in a secure area surrounded by law enforcement officials might be too much for even the dumbest criminals to attempt. Like it or not, you are typically squeezed into customs and immigration lines like sardines with fellow travelers. Instead of hoping for the best, keep your sensitive information safe by scrambling the frequencies used to steal your information.

Myths and Truths About Protection of Sensitive Information

There are countless myths and truths about how you can successfully protect your sensitive information while waiting in customs lines. A few of the most common ones include:

Myth #1: Criminals Are Easy to Spot and Criminals Avoid Places With Law Enforcement

Criminals are not always criminal blockheads, and they are not easy to identify. Also, criminals are not always violent. It can be difficult to pinpoint the difference between a jetlagged passenger with no ill intentions and a person who engages in international travel for the primary purpose of theft.

Truth: You do not even have to see a criminal to have your sensitive information stolen. If you cannot see theft, law enforcement officials might not be able to see it either. Some criminals love to use scanners to steal information in airports. They can easily be disguised as phones or other common electronic devices.

Myth #2: A Money Belt Will Solve All of Your Problems

A money belt is a good place to start. Obviously, you do not want to lose your information while sprinting from the gate to the immigration line. Additionally, make sure you have purses that are not easy for pickpockets. Keep your valuables in a zipped purse or pocket, and keep technology in mind.

Truth: You do not have to actually have to have your items stolen. In fact, information acquired from the chips in your cards and passports can be just as if not more valuable for criminals. It is important to invest in simple solutions that keep your information safe. Drilling a hole in your cards will not necessarily destroy the chip. In fact, it might cause more trouble for you than criminals interested in stealing your sensitive information.

The Cold Hard Truth

You need to take additional precautions due to the changing nature of identity theft. You cannot reasonably avoid standing in lines at airports. However, you can take action to help keep your information safe.