My friend is travelling to Rome. She is from Taiwan, and her bag has just been stolen, with money and passport in it. I suppose the only thing she can do is to go to the embassy. But I guess this will imply staying a few days more, and she has no money. Is there any way I can send her some? Is there any other solution I am not seeing?

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    Are you absolutely sure that the person who contacted you is really your friend (and not somebody who hacked her email, for example?) and she is really in Rome? This could be a scam! It has happened to people I know: somebody gets their email hacked, and sends an email to all their contacts saying they're stuck in a foreign country and to please wire money.
    – Max
    Aug 13, 2016 at 8:51
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    @Max that is a valid concern and the OP should verify. That being said, unfortunately I have made the experience that Asian women are a prime target for theft and related crime in Italy. Here is the link of the Taiwanese representation in Rome (in Chinese or Italian).
    – mts
    Aug 13, 2016 at 10:29

1 Answer 1

  • She should report the theft to the police and her embassy. The embassy should provide emergency travel documents fairly quickly.
  • Money can be sent via services like Western Union, often with new passwords instead of a photo id. (Take care how you transmit the password. And I'm not endorsing that particular provider; I used it for a similar purpose a decade ago, so that was the first name that came to my mind).
  • Some embassies will provide emergency loans to their citizens, to travel home. She should ask for that.
  • And she should also contact the airline to see if she can get rebooked on another flight free of charge.
    – Cedric H.
    Aug 13, 2016 at 12:48
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    Also some credit cards and banks offer a service when you have to cancel your cards due to theft while travelling that they'll send you money asap. Aug 13, 2016 at 12:57
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    If she had Mastercard or Visa I highly recommend cancelling those directly with those companies and not with her bank. Both should have an emergency office/number in Italy and know all the best ways to do things. It will not involve a long distance call. She can always contact her bank afterwards. (I've lost Visa card several times overseas. Banks can be extremely incompetent.) Aug 13, 2016 at 14:00
  • @hippietrail Can you elaborate on that? My bank has always been very on top of it whenever there was a problem.
    – mattdm
    Aug 13, 2016 at 15:16
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    Visa's customer support numbers (I think Master's too) are often toll-free. An international call costs a few dollars so that can be a help too.
    – AKS
    Aug 13, 2016 at 15:28

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