This guy is a security specialist in Mexico. He has a very good perspective about the violence that occurs in third world countries and how travelers can better protect themselves. Here are some of his thoughts about kidnappings.
In this post, Ed talks about some of the dangers present in the baggage claim area of a third world airport. He’s right. Lots of shady characters hang out there. Be careful.
Two more tips:
1- Keep you baggage claim tickets. In third world countries there are often security guards who compare the tags on your luggage with the tickets as you exit the baggage claim area. Not having the claim ticket will cause a big hassle.
2- As soon as you clear baggage claim, rip off the luggage tags and throw them away. You don’t want scam artists working the airport to know your name or the flight you were on.
In some countries, criminals will casually survey the luggage tags, and then google the names. If they find someone who is wealthy or has a prominent position in a large company, they will follow that person and “arrange” transportation for them in the taxi queue. That transportation will be taking them straight into a robbery or kidnapping.
Headed to the Philippines?
There is a high dollar bribery scam that has been executed against tourists at the Manila airport. It doesn’t say so in the article, but I would guess that shooters might be seeing the brunt of it. If you have bags with shooting logo or shooting gear, it might not be a far stretch for some customs official to plant some illegal bullets in your bag. Be the gray man when you travel. Don’t have any gun-related attire or gear anywhere on your person or in your bags.
How to Protect Yourself from the Airport Bullet Scam
And with regard to the Philippines, watch this nasty method used by criminals there to steal your phone (opens to Facebook video).
In the article below, a former Mexican counter-narcotics agent describes the latest worldwide kidnapping trends. The article is especially useful for those of you who travel to Mexico, Central America, and South America.
Take the time to give this article a serious read. If you are a traveler, the information it contains is absolutely vital.
Ed Calderon Sheds Light on Kidnapping & Abduction Trends