How it works:
- Situation: many cases here. In 2011, an Irish tourist was strangled to death as she walked into her room at a luxury resort while the thieves were around.
- Breaking into a room: hacking (electronic locks can be hacked to create a master key card); inside job by staff; if your door does not have a locking chain or latch, a piece of paper can be used to unlock your door.
- Breaking into room safes: inside job by staff; unchanged default master code which can be “0000” or found in the user manual in the safe or on the Internet; stealing unsecured master keys (a hotel will probably have tons of it).
- Mike Moske, who has over 2 decades of experience in hotel security estimates that 60-70% of hotel thefts are inside jobs. It is difficult to prove that you have been a victim as there are no signs of forced entry. Sometimes, you won’t even know!
Places to beware:
What to do:
- Hotel safety tools: consider a portable safe or hotel safe lock when not in the room; a door lock or door motion alarm when in the room.
- Travel insurance: get a good one that covers theft (e.g. World Nomads, trusted by Lonely Planet and National Geographic – review).