Inflight Scams, Thefts and Lost Items – How can you avoid them when you are on a plane?

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Whenever you think of pickpockets overseas, you might picture a train station, a bus, a tourist spot, and a city that is bustling. Here are some places which are high-risk areas to be aware of. However, there’s a new place emerging as a hunting ground for opportunistic thieves, and costing unlucky travelers. 

This blog provides information about these Inflight Scams. 

Thefts in aircraft are usually expensive, upsetting, and are becoming more common. Travel-weary passengers are easy targets for thieves during a flight, during mid flight naps, and during toilet breaks. These are ideal times for thieves to steal. 

Moreover, they know that most passengers carry cash or electronic devices like a laptop, camera, or phone onboard. It becomes easy for them to target you while being on a plane. 

As a passenger, how can you protect your property and avoid becoming a victim of inflight theft? You will learn about in-flight risks, how to protect your valuables, and how to recover them if you misplace them. 

How Safe Is Your Carry-On Bag On Plane?

Mostl travelers keep valuables in their carry-on bags while traveling. Carrying the essentials, such as a passport, cash, cards, phone, and clothing suitable for the weather, is essential. It can be a challenge to keep these items safe until you reach your destination, especially when you are traveling alone. 

Inflight Theft can ruin your trip. Evidence suggests that even the overhead baggage bins on planes are not the safest places to store your belongings.

The Reality of Inflight Scams

inside plane scams

Inflight scams are an example of opportunity theft. Absolute Software reported that 24% of travel-related thefts occurred in the air. 

Theft of property is not limited to aircraft. While going through security, it’s easy to become a victim of an Inflight scam. 

The luggage is going through the screening process, but you are at the metal detector and your laptop is not visible.

Sharing The Real Story 

Shannalee Sharbonneau and her husband were flying from Amsterdam to Johannesburg to celebrate their anniversary and had booked a safari in South Africa.

After seeing a bracelet in the Duty Free inflight magazine, her husband offered it to her as a gift for their anniversary.

Shannalee didn’t notice that the flight attendant who sold the jewelry popped the American Express card into her apron and was gone for a few minutes.

Following their arrival in Johannesburg, the couple went on safari for ten days without cell phone service or Wi-Fi.

The couple returned home to discover that their card had been charged thousands of dollars. The fraudsters also hacked the linked bank account and transferred thousands of dollars from it.  AMEX informed her that it was a sophisticated con, probably the work of a ring that cracked the encryption with software.

We don’t know if Sharbonneau’s experience is reported or not.  Check story details at

The Reality of In-Flight Theft

Founder of, George Hobica, says: airplane theft is more common than people think.

It’s common for passengers to lower their guard on a plane, assuming that they’re in a confined space and nothing can be taken from them. The reality is, this is not always the case.

Few Inflight Risks For Your Luggage

girl with suitcase on a plane

Nevertheless, there are a few inflight risks that passengers should be aware of to protect their valuables.

Leaving Your Bags Unlocked

We tend to forget that overhead compartments are the shared spaces, and that your fellow passengers have access to them throughout the flight. For this reason, you must keep your bag locked at all times.

While Sleeping 

Sleeping on a flight will enable you to arrive rested at your destination, as well as feeling like the flight was shorter than it actually is. Unfortunately, this can also lead to theft of your belongings. So please lock your bags and keep passports, cash, and other small items with you or in under-shirt fanny packs.

While Using the Bathroom

When you visit the bathroom, do you place your expensive item on your plane seat? Many people leave their carryon bags unlocked when they take a toilet break. This gives thieves another opportunity to target you. 

Whenever possible, take smaller items such as phones with you to the bathroom. Never leave valuables unattended. Even if you are taking a quick 2 minute break to use the restroom, you should lock larger items like laptops and tablets in your carry-on bag. As an alternative, you could ask a fellow passenger to keep an eye on them.

Getting Off The Plane

The second the seatbelt sign comes off, passengers rush to get off the plane, creating another opportunity for thieves as the aisles will get crowded.

Keep your carry-on in front of you until you are ready to walk off the plane. Please make sure nothing is left on or under the seat or the seat pocket. 

How You Can Protect Your Belongings With FOUND ME? 

theft and lost items on a plane

A fellow passenger, flight attendant, or cleaning crew may find a lost item. If there is no contact information or way to identify the owner, it can be challenging to return the item to its owner. 

FOUND ME comes to the rescue here. FOUND ME is a global, affordable system of tags, labels, bracelets, and necklaces that help you remain connected with everyone and everything you love in case you lose them. 

Our application linked to our tags simplifies the return process and increases your chances of being reunited with lost property.. 

FOUND ME tags or labels can be attached to anything you would hate to lose, like a passport, tablet, headphones, purse, wallet, or any object you wouldn’t want to lose. As soon as the item is found and scanned, you will receive a push notification, SMS, or email.

By avoiding the sharing of personal information like your name, phone number, address or email, FOUND ME tags protect your privacy and reduce your risk of being targeted for a scam or identity theft.

Visit to learn more about FOUND ME and everything it has to offer for the protection of your belongings.

If you have also been the victim of inflight scams, or have any stories about inflight scams or airport theft, we’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at We’ll share it in a future blog post. 

We won’t reveal your identity without your permission, and we won’t use this information for any other purpose other than to guide audience members about thefts and how they can prevent becoming victims.

About us

We are all at risk of losing the people pets and valuables that mean the most to us. FOUND ME was created as a global solution to tamper this risk and provide peace of mind. We exist to protect everyone and everything important in our customer’s lives.

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