As reported by the Associated Press and carried in the Tampa Bay Times:
“Police in Miami say three California men used stolen credit cards to buy more than $100,000 in luxury items including a Rolex watch aboard Carnival Cruise Line ship Victory.”
The three men, Myrick Rucker, Jr., Sheldon Johnson and Sirvonte Ingram were charged with grand theft, fraudulent use of credit cards and organized fraud.
An incident like this underscores the the types of crimes that can occur on cruise ship.
- Stolen Property
- Identity Theft
While our attorneys generally work with passengers who suffered personal injuries due to the negligence of the cruise line and its employees, it’s important for cruise travelers to understand that a vacation may include other risks.
Stolen property is huge issue and one that is often unreported. Cell phones and tablets, wallets and purses, cash and credit cards, jewelry and watches – all can go missing very quickly among the distraction and excitement of a cruise.
Really anything of value can be taken if the right opportunity presents itself.
And these crimes are committed by passengers and crew members alike.
HG.org lists theft as an intentional illegal activity – an activity that results in someone being victimized by someone else’s actions.
Law firm Williams and Kherkher in Houston points out on their website a number of cases over the last few years in which the value of reported theft was in excess of $10,000. While most instances of stolen goods is below that $10,000 threshold, for the average passenger, losing an expensive watch or iPad can be just as devastating.
Imagine having your purse stolen while aboard a cruise ship. Your money is gone. Your credit cards are gone. Potentially, your passport and other forms of identification are gone. And all of it is susceptible to potential fraud – someone using your identification to open new lines of credit or, as we saw above, someone using your credit cards to charge items to your card.
As we’ve learned, identity theft can be truly damaging.
According to a recent Consumer Affairs report,
In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission processed 1.4 million fraud reports totaling $1.48 billion in losses. According to the FTC’s “Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book,” the most common categories for fraud complaints were imposter scams, debt collection and identity theft. Credit card fraud was most prevalent in identity theft cases — more than 167,000 people reported a fraudulent credit card account was opened with their information.
Crew members have access to cabins. Passengers leave items around pools, in dance clubs, restaurants and in other common areas. These simple acts can have devastating consequences.
Theft of cruise passenger’s property happens on all of the major cruise lines – Disney, Carnival, Holland America, Royal Caribbean and others.
If you have been a victim of theft while on a cruise ship and have questions about your legal options, please call our law firm. We would be happy to help provide answers to your questions. Call 1-800-905-2891 today or fill out the contact form on the right hand side of this page.
Preparing for an upcoming trip? You may find these tips helpful:
From Travel Insurance Review: 8 Tips to Avoid Being Robbed on a Cruise
From Cruise Fever: 7 Tips for Keeping Yourself and Your Valuables Safe on a Cruise