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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thieves in Ecuador. April 2014.

I am talking about thieves working in Quito buses and trolleys. They are professionals. Just during last year I had my cell stolen on a bus and recently my cross body purse was slashed in a trolley. My cell was cheap and thieves didn't get much from my purse, but the fact is that you have to be on guard constantly.
Here is a strategy I have now: I don't bring my valet with me, instead I have laminated copy of my passport , coin purse and $10-20 tacked somewhere in the compartments of my bag.
When I do grocery shopping in the supermarket I bring my credit card (in Ecuador when you use credit card you are asked to show ID), laminated copy of passport works fine as ID.
In restaurants I always pay cash, few years ago I had lunch in some restaurant in one of the Quito shopping malls and few days later my credit card was used in Georgia, US. Of course credit card company solved this issue, but it was unnerving.  
You have to have your credit cards info stored somewhere, somehow, encrypted, of course.
Also, it is a bad idea to have your valet with credit cards and IDs just laying around the house, on a table, for example. Keep it somewhere where it is not easy for casual visitors (I don't mean robbers, I mean people, who are invited, who visit you) to discover it. I have heard stories when credit cards were compromised after people had "friends" over.
It is a headache to replace US credit cards when you are out of country.

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