I have a question regarding my vulnerability to identity theft. My luggage was stolen in Italy and it had photocopies of my passport in it. They did not steal my actual passport, only the photocopies I made of it. I called the Government passport office today and they said the passport number is not connected to your social security number and that they did not consider it a need to report it stolen. Can any one think of any reason that I am at Fraud risk. Every travel book I read says that you should keep photocopies of your passports in your luggage. What if your luggage is stolen?
My daughter and I each kept a color copy of our passports in each other neck pouches. Personally, I would never keep anything of value in my luggage. It stays on my body at al times.
I agree with JB, never leave anything vaulable in your luggage. Use the room safe or keep it with you.
I don't think you have anything to worry, but it wouldn't hurt to check your credit report once in a while for a few months. But since it was stolen in Italy, not really sure what else you could do.
I can't imagine you should have any problems. A passport copy is only to help you get a replacement at the consulate. I'm sure the consulate staff deal with enough lost passports to know exactly which questions to ask to avoid scams.
Passports these days have photos which are scanned on to the passport, so a photocopy is nowhere near good enough to make a fake passport (and the applicant would have to look just like you), nor is copy going to provide the info needed to create the scanner strip. In addition, people would have a hard time using a passport copy as ID - I've always, always had to show my original passport whenever I'm using it as a form of ID to open an account etc. here in the UK.
I think you are fine leaving the copies in a suitcase - in of themselves, they are not valuable because their value is to you in case of emergency. A good way to avoid this issue is to scan the passport and send the image to an e-mail account you can access from wherever.
I wouldn't worry about the photo copy.
I personally have lost 3 of my actual passports and (knock on wood) nothing happened. So a photocopy should be no problem
In the future, if you don't want to put a photo copy in the luggage, take a picture of your passport (or scan it). Then email it to yourself. That way if the actual one is lost/stolen, you can retrieve the emailed version of any internet cafe, or even the US Consulate should have internet to access your email
If your email is not accessible outside your home, consider getting a free account like yahoo, hotmail or gmail.