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Security Alert: Holiday and Summer Crime Awareness
U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru (December 15, 2023)
December 15, 2023




Historically, criminal activities in Peru, such as theft, increase significantly in the Peruvian summertime, and particularly during the December holiday season. This includes pickpocketing and home burglaries, as criminals take advantage of increased travel and shopping driven by holiday bonuses to target victims. Increasing your situational awareness, avoiding predictable routines, and reviewing general security precautions with your family can potentially reduce your chances of becoming a victim of crime.

Tips to reduce your risk:

  • Secure your residence.
  • Avoid using cell phones in public and in crowded venues. Use them only in a secure space and then put your phone away. The “glow” emitted from electronics at night makes you a target while walking or at traffic stops, including when used inside locked cars and taxis.
  • Do not wear expensive jewelry or watches. Do not carry excessive cash. If you become a victim, refrain from fighting to maintain control of your belongings. Your physical well-being is the priority.
  • Be aware of scams. Talk with your family and household staff about how to handle unusual phone calls or unannounced visitors.
  • Be mindful of your travel routes as navigation apps may route you through unfamiliar areas with higher levels of crime.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended in your car. Consider putting bags and/or briefcases in the footwell or trunk to keep them out of sight. Keep your doors locked and windows rolled up.
  • If taking taxis, use app-based transportation or a call-in taxi service. Stay in a secure location while waiting for your ride. Use the same safety precautions in hired vehicles as you would in your own vehicle.
  • Recognize that thieves often hide among street performers, street vendors, and beggars at traffic lights and congested intersections. Use caution and refrain from opening your windows at stop lights or crowded streets when driving.
  • Pay attention in shopping areas and other general surroundings. Criminals may follow you or call/report you to another associate waiting to target you.
  • During the Peruvian summer more people will be out on the streets, at open air venues, sidewalks, and parks. Watch out for theft and keep alert to avoid accidents with preoccupied drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians.
  • Discuss and practice personal security measures with everyone in your household.

What to do if you become a victim of a crime?

  • Get to a safe location and contact local Peruvian police.
  • File a police report as soon as possible.
  • If your U.S. passport was stolen, review the instructions on the U.S. Embassy website to replace it.

Actions to take:

  • Avoid crowds.
  • Keep your phone charged, and carry an ID.
  • Comply with instructions from the Peruvian National Police and local authorities.
  • Enroll in STEP to receive alerts and messaging from the U.S. Embassy in Lima.

For Assistance:

  • U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru
    Avenida La Encalada cdra. 17 s/n
    Santiago de Surco 15023, Lima
  • U.S. Consular Agency Cusco
    Avenida El Sol 449
  • State Department – Consular Affairs
    +1-888-407-4747 or +1-202-501-4444
  • Peru Country Information
  • To receive alerts, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  Need help?  Email: CASTEP@state.gov.
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