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Keep your passport safe, lest it falls in hands of fraudsters

10,000 people a year accidentally throw their passports out
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25th April 2011: Keep your passport safe, lest it falls in the hands of fraudsters. In any case, a new one will cost you at least £77.50 to replace.

The advise comes from chief executive of the Identity and Passport Service Sarah Rapson. It follows the release of figures showing more than 10,000 people a year accidentally throw their passports out with the rubbish.

Rapson says: ‘Your passport is not only increasingly attractive to fraudsters, but it will cost you at least £77.50 to replace, so it’s really important that you keep it safe both when you are at home and when you’re abroad.’

The assertion comes with a detailed advisory. `There are four simple steps you can take to keep your passport safe: only carry your passport when it is absolutely necessary; use alternatives to your passport if you need to prove your age; lock your passport away in a secure location when abroad; and if it’s in a safe, make sure the safe is fixed securely to the wall.

Identity and Passport Service research also indicates a 60:40 split between genders when it comes to replacing lost and stolen passports, with more than 162,500 passports replaced each year by men compared to around 112,000 by women.

Around 40 per cent or 110,000 passports replaced each year belong to people in their twenties, with approximately 10,000 of those lost while on a night out in a bar or club.
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Some of the reasons cited for losing passport are unusual, to say the least. These include:
placed on a fire with clothes; lost while in prison; put in bin by infant daughter; drunk boyfriend (now ex) destroyed it; fell out of bag while snowboarding on a mountain; last seen in the pocket of a coat donated to tramp; and wallet was stolen at a children’s party with passports inside.

If your passport is lost or stolen, keeping a note of the passport number will help Identity and Passport Service spot your record and issue a replacement as quickly as possible.

For information on what can be done if you have lost your passport, you can call the advice line on 0300 222 0000.

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