FBI Cleveland
Public Affairs Officer Susan Licate
March 8, 2023

FBI Offers Precautions for Spring Break Travelers

Cleveland, OH —FBI Cleveland advises the public to be vigilant of their surroundings and use caution when traveling during spring break. If traveling out of the country, the FBI warns of increased dangers of international travel, including crime, theft, fraud, and kidnapping.

As a first step in planning any trip abroad, check the travel advisories for your intended destination. The travel advisory system was designed to give U.S. citizens timely, clear, and reliable information regarding security threats abroad.

“Warning the public about unsuspected dangers are just one way the FBI works to protect the American people,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Gregory Nelsen. “Whether you are a family looking for a carefree vacation or a college student eagerly awaiting time off from school, know that the risks are there. And, when we let our guard down because we are either rushing to catch a flight, visiting places of interest, or relaxing at a bar, by the pool or a beach, we could become easy targets to criminals.”

The following tips may help you feel more secure while traveling internationally:

  • Establish points of contact for your family to contact in the event of an emergency.
  • Avoid traveling alone, especially after dark. Be conscious of your surroundings and avoid areas you believe may put your personal safety at risk.
  • Use only authorized taxis/shuttles. Passengers have been robbed or kidnapped when using taxis.
  • Avoid actions that are illegal, improper, or indiscreet. Avoid offers of sexual companionship; they may lead to a room raid, photography, and blackmail.
  • Evade criminals by being aware of your surroundings and alert to the possibility of surveillance. Take mental notes of anyone following you and promptly report it to the appropriate security officials.
  • Beware of new acquaintances who probe for information about you or who attempt to get you involved in what could become a compromising situation.

Before finalizing plans, the FBI suggests you review the health and security alert issued by the U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Mexico last week: https://mx.usembassy.gov/health-and-security-alert-springbreak- 2022/

To view travel advisories for multiple countries, visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

For the current travel advisory for Mexico, visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/mexico-traveladvisory.html

For more information on virtual kidnapping for ransom scams and how you can protect yourself, visit: https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/phoenix/news/press-releases/fbi-warns-public-ofvirtual- kidnapping-extortion-calls

Finally, if you see or hear suspicious activity when traveling, contact your local FBI or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov. Your identity can remain anonymous when submitting a tip to the FBI.