Identity Theft Passport

Your passport has a reputation of being a very authoritative way to prove your identity. It is intended to see you safely across borders all around the world. Naturally, such an important identity document has become a target for the attention of identity thieves.

In Frederick Forsyth's book The Jackel, the assassin searches in a cemetery for the identity of a person born about the same time as him, but who died in childhood. He then applies for a passport in that person's name. That book was set in the times of French President de Gaulle, and long before the widespread use of computers. Electronic data matching has made it easier for the authorities to match births and deaths in recent years, and to close loopholes like that.

All such loopholes have not necessarily been closed to imaginative identity thieves, however. In a subtle variation of Forsyth's approach, alleged operatives from the security services of a foreign country were recently caught trying to get a passport issued to them in New Zealand. Their method was to take the identity of a disabled citizen, who was very unlikely to ever apply himself for a passport to travel, and present an apparently credible and routine passport application for a real person without his knowledge.

There is a thriving black market industry in some countries that is engaged in reproducing passports, or of stealing then modifying real passports. Inserting different photographs is a common technique. Illegal immigration is a large source of motivation for this activity.

The authorities have been steadily improving their passport design, issuing procedures and border checking processes to combat passport identity theft. Their efforts were stepped up following the terrorist incidents of recent years, and passport identity thieves now face increasingly formidable barriers. Many countries now insert data chips into the latest biometric passports and exchange information on travellers, among many more detailed modifications to passport design and checking procedures.

Losing your passport is a relatively serious matter because of the potential for it to be misused. If you lose your passport you will need to promptly contact the issuing authorities, usually your country's embassy if you are in a foreign country. A passport, possibly temporary, can usually be issued within a short period to allow you to continue with your journey, but you may expect to be delayed a few days. In most countries the police authorities will also take an interest.

It is very wise to take steps to avoid these hassles by minimising the risk of losing your passport. In foreign countries most travellers keep their passport with them at all times. Some travellers choose to carry their passport and other valuables in a money belt under their clothing rather than in a bag that can be snatched. Another option is to use security deposit boxes at your hotel, and in some countries hotels require you to deposit your passport with them, in some cases for police inspection during your stay.

 Information Security and ID Theft
 What Identity Theft is About
 How Identity Theft Works
 Signs of Identity Theft
 Identity Theft Credit Repair
 Identity Theft in the UK
 Type of Identity Theft
 Why People Commit ID Theft
 Criminal Identity Theft
 Information About Identity
 Passport Identity Theft
Credit Card ID Theft
 Credit Card Identity Theft
 Pre Approved Credit Cards
 Debit and ATM Card Identity Theft
ID Theft In Business
 Business Identity Theft
 Access Code Identity Theft
Identity Theft On The Internet
 Identity Theft Phishing
 Online Identity Theft
Protecting Against ID Theft
 Learn Identity Theft Protection
 Guard Against Identity Theft
 Need Identity Theft Protection
Document Shredders
 Cross Cut Paper Shredders
 Confetti Paper Shredder
 Heavy Duty Paper Shredder
 Paper Shredders Office Use
 Cross Cut CD Shredder
Identity Theft Reporting
 Identity Theft Reporting
 How to Report Identity Theft
 Report Stolen Credit Cards
 Stolen Personal Checks
 Credit Reporting Agencies