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Be careful with your valuables at airport security screening | Print |  Email
Thursday, 26 January 2012
This week the Irish International Immigration Center in Boston warns against possible theft during airport security scanning.

Q:  I heard that some people have had items stolen from their carry-on luggage when they were going through the security screening at airports.  Is there anything I can do to prevent this from happening? 

A:  There have been such cases.  For example, a Transportation Security Administration screener and his supervisor were arrested for stealing cash from passengers’ carry-on luggage at the Newark, New Jersey airport.  The victims apparently were targeted; they generally were people from abroad who did not speak English, and many were elderly.  The screener actually committed the thefts, and the supervisor took a kickback for allowing the crimes to take place.

It is unfortunate that this sort of thing occurs, though it must be assumed that the vast majority of TSA screeners are honest.  Nevertheless, the possibility of theft does suggest that vigilance is the prudent course.  Travelers should keep a close eye on their possessions – bags, electronic items, etc. – as they go along the conveyer belt into the scanner.   If a bag is taken aside for inspection, watch carefully as the screener examines the contents.  In addition, it is a good idea not to leave items that are easily removed –cash, credit cards, jewelry, etc. -- in one’s carry-on bags.  Also, computers and other devices should always be password protected so that one’s confidential data cannot be accessed in the event of theft. 

By the way, thefts from checked baggage are all too common as well, so one should never check anything valuable or irreplaceable. 

For a free, confidential consultation on any aspect of immigration law, visit one of our legal clinics advertised in The Emigrant each week.

Disclaimer:  These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in individual cases.  Areas of law are rapidly changing. US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the US Department of State regularly amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures.  For legal advice seek the assistance of an IIC immigration specialist or an immigration lawyer.

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