8

While in Budapest, my backpack was stolen. In it I had photocopies of my passport, drivers license , train ticket, insurance policy documents and ehic, and also a journal with my credit card number written in it (only the number). Is there a chance that my identity could be stolen? Is there anything you recommend that I should do? I'm staying away for another 3 weeks.

I saw the thread about passport photocopies, but as more information was stolen I felt that I required a more comprehensive answer.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What harm can be done with a copy of one's passport? – Gagravarr Jun 29 '16 at 15:12
  • 3
    Well this question here is beyond only the passport so I'm not sure this should be closed as a duplicate? @Gagravarr – mts Jun 29 '16 at 15:42
  • Yes, I read that thread but a lot of the answers said "they need more info" so I thought I'd ask to clarify, as they do have more info – Sas2450 Jun 29 '16 at 16:35
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a question about the risks of identity theft, not about travel. – David Richerby Jun 29 '16 at 16:53
  • 3
    Theft is an inherent risk of travel and on-topic here and such are the consequences of theft, including identity-theft, see the linked question about passport copies. This question should remain open IMHO. – mts Jun 29 '16 at 18:40
6

Lets break it down by order of risk:

  1. Credit Card Number - as the person has your name as well (from the other documents) this can be used for online purchases, so I would immediately notify the credit card issuer and block the card. All the person has to do is keep guessing the expiry date; which is easily done in a few tries.

  2. Photocopy of passport, driver's license, EHIC - your identity can be stolen here. The information on your passport and driver's license can be used for social engineering (for example, by calling the bank and getting your credentials reset for online banking). However usually if your identity needs to be spoofed, you are deliberately targeted and not picked at random. This is because in order for these attacks to be successful, the attacker usually already has some information about you. I would alert your bank that your identity is stolen, so they are extra vigilant about activities on your account.

  3. Insurance policy + train ticket - these are the least valuable. The train ticket cannot be used, and the insurance policy contains information already available in your passport, driver's license and EHIC.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    There was no photocopy of a credit card – Berwyn Jun 29 '16 at 17:48
  • "and also a journal with my credit card number written in it (only the number)." – Burhan Khalid Jun 29 '16 at 19:48
  • 2
    Right. But that's not a photocopy which would have expiry date and CVV equivalent if amex – Berwyn Jun 29 '16 at 19:51
4

I'll raise a counterpoint to the other answers.

Consider what you would achieve if you returned your passport, driving licence and EHIC card and applied for new ones. The thief would still have a copy of your old, seemingly unexpired, documents. I can't envisage many situations where an authority that would have the ability to check document validity, would not require seeing the physical document. Hence, replacing these does not appear to mitigate many risks; any company that would accept a photocopy, probably does not have the desire or capability to check lost and stolen databases.

The credit card number does expose you to a small risk, but the thief does not have the card expiry date nor CVV code. All credit card companies would cover you for misuse anyway, so I would probably consider requesting a replacement card when I returned home, but would not consider the risk worth losing access to my credit card by blocking the card while I was away.

Given the amount of details that the thief possesses, I would consider signing up to an identity theft protection service. Depending on your country of residence it may also be possible to block new credit requests in your name. e.g. https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0497-credit-freeze-faqs

| improve this answer | |
0

Yes, there is a possibility. (no zero risk in this world); the risk should be low; thieves want to have quick cash instead of having to work hard for it.

If that stresses you, contact your credit card company and report your card as stolen; same thing for your passport, contact you embassy/consulate and report your passport stolen. (same thing for other items).

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    Are you sure you can report a passport stolen if in fact only a photocopy of it has been stolen? – mts Jun 29 '16 at 18:16
  • 1
    I agree with @mts. Reporting a passport as stolen if you still have it is potentially illegal. If you want to get a new passport you should return it. I see this as a really terrible idea if you do this while you're on holiday – Berwyn Jun 29 '16 at 18:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.