Your Money or Possessions Are Lost or Stolen Abroad?

If you’re the victim of theft or you lose your possessions abroad you should always report this to the local police as soon as you can. This is very important as you’ll need a copy of the crime report to do things like replace your passport or make a claim on your travel insurance. This page tells you what to do if your money, passport or possessions are lost or stolen on holiday.

Top tips

When travelling abroad it’s a good idea to:

  • make copies of your credit cards and cash cards (front and back), travel documents and drivers license – keep the copies safely separate from the originals
  • make a note of all emergency numbers you may need and be aware of your bank’s policies on replacing lost or stolen cards
  • know the number and location of your nearest British embassy or consular office.

Your passport is lost or stolen

If your passport is lost or stolen while you’re abroad you should report it to the local police straight away. You’ll need the crime reference details to get a new passport. You should also report the theft or loss to the UK embassy, consulate or high commission of the country you are in. When you make a report to the consular office, they will give you a Lost or Stolen (LS01) Notification form. You should fill this in and sign it. You can also download the form if you lose it or need another copy. The consular office will record the loss or theft of your passport and forward the information to Her Majesty’s Passport Office, who will cancel your passport to stop someone else using your identity. If you find your passport after reporting it lost or stolen you won’t be able to use it and you should return it to Her Majesty’s Passport Office. The consular office will issue you with replacement travel documents so you can travel back to the UK. You will be charged a fee for this service which you should be able to claim on your travel insurance.

Your travel documents are lost or stolen

If you’re on a package holiday, talk to your package organiser’s representative in the resort who’ll be able to advise you on what to do. If you’re an independent traveller, contact your travel company or airline immediately. Most companies will ask you to pay a handling charge for issuing a replacement ticket. The company may ask you to pay for a replacement ticket and then claim a refund from the company when you return to the UK.

Your money is lost or stolen

You should always report the loss or theft to the local police straight away. You should also get a written confirmation of the report and a copy of any statement you make.

Travellers cheques

Replacing lost travellers’ cheques should be straightforward. Phone the emergency number which you’ll find on your cheque receipts and report the cheques missing. Some companies will allow reverse charge calls from abroad to report the loss. Your cheque company will give you step by step instructions for replacing the cheques.  You should be able to get replacement cheques within 24 hours unless you are somewhere very remote. If you have lost the receipt you were given when you bought the cheques and you haven’t made a note of the serial numbers you should still be able to get a refund but it may take much longer.

Credit card and debit cards

All banks have emergency 24 hour numbers you can phone to report your card lost or stolen. Replacements for lost cards should also take about 24 hours, though some issuers take three days or more. Your card issuer may be able to make you an emergency cash advance.

Do you need someone to send you money from the UK?

If you need emergency funds, you may need someone in the UK to send you some money. You’ll usually both be charged a fee. If you are using a money transfer operator, an online money transfer service or a foreign exchange broker you should check that the firm is authorised or registered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Making a claim on your travel insurance

Tell your travel insurer about loss or theft as soon as possible. Check your policy so you understand what your insurers expect you to do when making a claim and stick to the procedures they set out. Most travel insurance policies have strict time limits about reporting loss or thefts of money or possessions to the local police and will want to see a copy of the police report. Check the terms and conditions of your policy as you can normally claim the costs involved in replacing lost cash, cards and travel documents.

*** The information in this advice article is current on 10/06/13 if reading after this date contact us at The Foreign Citizens Advice Centre for more up to date information ***


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.