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If You Travel Via Commercial
Airlines and Carry a Laptop Computer Or
Briefcase Containing Valuable Material... This
is Vital Information to Know!
This scam involves two persons who
look for a victim carrying a laptop computer or
other valuable carry-on baggage and approaching
a metal detector. They position themselves in
front of the unsuspecting passenger and stall
until their mark puts the laptop on the conveyor
The first hustler moves
through the metal detector easily. The second
deliberately sets off the detector and begins a
very slow process of emptying pockets, removing
jewelry, etc. While this is happening, the first
hustler picks up the laptop as soon as it
appears on the conveyor belt, walks away
quickly, heads into the gate area, and
disappears among the crowd.
When the passenger finally
gets through the metal detector, the laptop is
gone and there's no way of proving the person
who set off the detector with the
delaying tactic had anything to do with the
theft. In fact, a third hustler may
sometimes be involved, as he takes a hand-off from
the first. This third crook takes the computer out of the
restricted area before anything can be done to
stop the theft (even if the passenger becomes
aware of it while still waiting on the other
side of the metal detector).
What can you do to prevent
it from happening to you?
Of course the obvious is
when traveling with a laptop computer (or any
'hand carried' valuables which must be placed on
the airport's security conveyor belt for
examination by x-ray) is to try and avoid lines
at the entrance of the metal detector.
Better yet... try to fly
with a friend and make sure one of you has
cleared the detector before either puts anything
on the conveyor belt!
When you don't have a
traveling companion and there are unavoidable
lines, you must delay putting your luggage and
laptop on the conveyor belt until you're sure
you'll be the next person through the metal
detector. And, as you move through the detector,
keep your eyes on the conveyor belt and watch
for your luggage and laptop to come through at the other end, while keeping a 'sharp eye' on what those in
front of you are picking up).
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