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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 10, 2004
Each chapter of this book, standing alone, would be worth the price of the book. The photographs, alone, would be worth the price of the book. Where else could you find so many photographs of pickpockets and street scam artists in action?
Do not let the word "Travel" in the title fool you. This is a must-read for anyone who goes out in crowds, even in their own home town. Pickpockets work at sporting events, concerts, shopping centers or anywhere they can blend in anonymously with the crowd. Help put pickpockets, hotel thieves and street scam artists out of business. Buy this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2004
Most of the time, especially when traveling, paranoia is good!

I have traveled extensively internationally for the last 15 years and consider myself travel savvy. Recently, in Peru, I have been robbed of my passport, camera, credit card and ultimately, my peace of mind. This robbery happened in broad daylight, 100 yards from a policeman (in Peru the police are known for their collaboration with criminals and their corruption). If I would have read "Travel Advisory" before this trip, I am sure I would have been more vigilant, yes, more paranoid. Thus, I would have correctly thought, in a paranoid way: I am "fresh meat" among unseen predators.

Bob and Bambi masterfully lay out the world of professional cons, rip-off artists, and the pejorative and prolific street thief. In incident after incident they show the mind of you, the unsuspecting victim and more importantly, the mind of the thief. Read "Travel Advisory" and you will soon understand the techniques of thieves, their M.O. and why you, looking like a tourist, acting like a tourist, are like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming Peterbuilt.

Bob and Bambi tell you plainly, the criminals are out there in force, they are professional, very savvy and the police are at best inconsequential. After 9/11 the focus of the police has clearly changed. Very, very low on the police "to do" list is catching a purse-snatcher. Caveat: You are the only defense that you have.

Though the book is very good, it could be helpfully improved. There are no statistics. There are no lists, maps or charts that delineate the most dangerous tourist destinations. There is no appendix to help you with additional reading and/or web resources. There is no critical critique of 3rd world police (corruption, collaboration, complacency). Sadly, there is no mention of the punishment given to those thieves that Bob and Bambi tells us were apprehended. After being robbed, I want the satisfaction of hearing jail doors slamming.

There is not a traveler who could glean some beneficial tips from reading "Travel Advisory!"

It does us all well, prior to every trip, to remember the words of Stephen Still's song "For What It's Worth" (Buffalo Springfield 1966) "Paranoia Strikes deep, into your life it will creep. It starts when you're always afraid, you step out of line the [thief] man comes and takes you away." "Travel Advisory" excels at making you look over your shoulder, more than once. Read it. Strongly recommended. 4.5 stars.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
As an RPCV who has lived for 2 years in a third world country, I thought I'd seen it all until I read this book. The information the authors share can make any American's vacation abroad safer and more interesting.
The last chapter on IDENTITY THEFT (it's not money you should worry about losing--it's your credit cards!) alone is worth the price of this book. Identity theft is growing at an alarming rate in America. Even if you never plan to travel abroad, we all need this information to protect ourselves at home.
Carolyn Proctor
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2003
This book is worth your entire vacation expense. It can save you thousands of dollars both in grief and lost time when faced with someone taking all your money, ID, credit and phone cards. It certainly pays to be aware and safe in unknown places. I felt much safer knowing that with the tips in this book, I not only had protected my valubles, but was aware of my surroundings and it helped me avoid all the pitfalls that novice tourists make. Five star
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2004
I have been following the investigative efforts of Bob Arno and Bambi Vincent for several years and have anticipated the release of this book for months. Having worked in law enforcement for thirty years, I highly recommend this book to everyone in the law enforcement community. It goes far beyond the criminal act by revealing the mind of the criminal who preys upon the unwary on a daily basis. The book is both informative and entertaining to anyone who is interested in prevention of everday personal thefts and scams while traveling at home or abroad. The interviews and personal narratives of the various crinminals encountered by Bob and Bambi are fascinating. Once you begin to read the book, it is hard to put it down until finished.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 14, 2004
Not since my high-school days and the reading of Charles Dickens have I thought about pickpockets and how they work. Travel Advisory opened my eyes and made me much more aware that this goes on today. When I was younger, I had lost a wallet in London, but felt it was my own clumsiness; however, now I not so sure.
The first three chapters alone should be a must read for the vacation traveler.
Travel Advisory is a neat book, covers a lot different scams that can befall the unadvised traveler and is worth a full read. I strongly recommend it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 17, 2008
This book is simply amazing in providing what many books on the subject do not and cannot, because most writers do not have the depth and breadth of personal knowledge required. Bambi Vincent & Bob Arno have done an extraordinary amount of research, covering many countries over many years. The wealth of details gives the reader what are possibly the best weapons against the many cons covered in this extensive advisory - education and awareness.

I needed something to help me really understand what I might be up against, and Bambi Vincent and Bob Arno's work has it in spades. The book is well written, well documented (including photos of crimes in progress), entertaining, and above all, educational. The amount of background work they have done to prepare this book is remarkable; the research is all-original, leather-on-pavement, with a very ballsy personal commitment. It was done not for a few months like most well-researched books, but over decades.

This book covers details of many varieties of con that are only hinted at in other work on this subject, evidently because the authors have spent many years researching, walking, talking to con men and their victims, and living on the road while looking for cons to record - in print, on film and in videos. It is possibly the definitive work on this type of crime, although I would be hard put to say precisely what that covers. There are many categories involved and the word 'con' is about as good as I can do to describe them. Preparing me to meet them effectively, mostly through awareness and continuous vigilance, is the job the authors have taken upon themselves. After reading this book, I think I am as ready as I can be.

Perhaps if I spent years learning and practicing the techniques myself, as Bob Arno has done for his work as an entertainer, I could do better. But getting this much information into an easy-reading book is by itself a major accomplishment, and Bambi Vincent deserves great credit as the primary author. Very strongly recommended for anyone who travels, whether it's to a foreign country or the other side of their own city.

I will make one suggestion. I would like to see this couple develop and market punitive pocket/purse devices for travelers. Perhaps a wallet that when opened sprays a permanent dye, or potent, disgusting, long-lasting odor spray. Perhaps leather that contains deadly tetrodotoxin, poison arrow frog poison, or at a minimum a pocket mousetrap (possibly with an upgrade to amputate an uninvited fingertip, with further option to deposit infective bacteria)--something cruel to ruin the thieves' holiday much as they ruin those of their victims. Sort of a miniature Charles-Bronson-in-a-Pocket.

Six stars out of five.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2009
My wife and I travel to Europe and the Americas four months of each year. We consider ourselves "savvy" travelers. As such, we found about 80% of this book reinforced our own knowledge and practices. However, the other 20% was like a burst of bright light.

Not only does this book provide practical instruction on how to protect yourself and your goodies, but offers an insight into the world and minds of the creeps out there.

The book is well-written and illustrated. It is a "must read" for travelers of all levels of experience, but especially for those making their initial excursions into unknown cultures.

We have already modified some of our equipment and clothing using suggestions in Travel Advisory, and will definitely change some of our behaviours. We have thwarted pickpocket attempts, but with the knowledge gained from the book, we hope to totally avoid similar situations in the future.

The bad guys are very, very good. This book shows how to make sure that they practice their arts on some other poor sucker, and not you.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2014
I was pickpocketed in Rome, Venice, and Vienna. In each case I was concentrating on the activity, usually photography. Several times my wife was only several feet behind me. My wallet attaches to my belt with a chain. I guess that just identified where the loot was, so the wallet was deftly removed, no tug on the chain, and emptied. These people, as Bob and Bambi point out are really artists of thievery. Please read this book. I hope I will be smarter now. Thanks Bob and Bambi.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 10, 2007
After reading some brief articles online, I was wondering how a whole book could be made out of the subject without getting really dry. This book managed that. Lots of ideas (to watch out for!) and very interesting reading. I'll definitely be more prepared and already used some ideas on my recent four trips.
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