Travel Security: Keeping it in Perspective

The dramatic disappearance and murder of US solo tourist Sarai Sierra in Istanbul and the recent gang rape of a Swiss female tourist in India have brought attention to the darker side of travel.  In the wake of these incidents, in particular the Sarai Sierra case there were numerous ill-informed comments by columnists and bloggers…

The Insider Threat & Risk of Kidnapping

This is excerpted from the Integrated Protective Concepts book Kidnapping Prevention & Avoidance. Without a doubt the greatest threat you are likely to potentially encounter is the insider threat. Numerous kidnapping cases throughout the world have involved a person close to the victim or with inside knowledge of the victim’s activities and routine facilitating the…

The Gang of Blondes – Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover

Looks can be deceiving and more than one person has fallen victim to becoming complacent because a person they were dealing with turned out to be more dangerous than they initially appeared. A great example of this is the “Gang of Blondes” (Gangue das Loiras) a female kidnapping ring that was believed to be responsible…

Cultural Awareness – the Security Dimension

Being culturally aware is important for anyone traveling abroad or conducting international business.  It’s important to recognize that not everyone around the world sees things the way we do and understanding others’ perspectives and customs will allow us to better relate and avoid inadvertently offending someone. Noted cultural trainer Dean Foster recently wrote a piece…

When 419 Fraud Gets Dangerous

Advanced fee fraud – commonly known as 419 fraud has been going on for years.  Most commonly manifested in the emails – and in the past faxes and letters – that the potential victims receive offering them an opportunity to get a large sum of money to facilitate the transfer of funds or provide some…

Kidnapping Primer

One critical element when discussing personal security, especially in the developing world is to have an understanding of the various types of kidnapping that exist and the associated mitigation and prevention strategies that you can employ. First off, it’s important to note that in the US in particular and most of Western Europe kidnapping for…

To Resist or Not Resist: That is the Question

One question that often comes up is whether or when to resist a criminal.  There is no clear-cut answer as it depends a lot on the situation and the individual involved.  Generally though, most people agree that pure property or economically motivated crimes should not be resisted.  If the criminal just wants your money or…

The Criminal Interview

While we are discussing unsolicited approaches it’s a good time to mention the criminal “interview” that is often the precursor to a robbery or assault.  The interview occurs when the criminal engages the potential victim in conversation prior to initiating a crime.  This usually serves two purposes: (1) it gives the criminal or criminals and…