In the wild, animals use tricks to survive. Camouflage allows critters to hide in plain sight. Secreting a chemical that makes an animal taste bad discourages predation. Even just looking like you taste bad can get you a reprieve from the food chain.
Anti-theft (aka. “loss prevention”) can benefit from the same concepts. One particular item from the Shomer-Tec catalog caught my eye. It’s a hiding place for money cleverly disguised as soiled underwear.
Among them, imagine what will happen if criminals get wise to this? Suddenly you’ll have crooks sifting through actual soiled laundry looking for loose cash. Anti-theft tech will have to raise the bar. Perhaps a safe that looks like a half-eaten moldy tuna salad sandwich. Tiny coin purses shaped like used condoms. Fake vomit you can pour over your important legal documents to protect them from the prying eyes and pilfering fingers of villains.
While snooping around with Google I came across “A SAFE TRIP ABROAD” — the State Department’s guide to staying safe in other countries. It’s a useful document, but among its lighter moments are:
Avoid public demonstrations and other civil disturbances.
Keep a low profile and avoid loud conversations or arguments.
Avoid scam artists.
With the first two I have to think they’re running counter to the time-honored traditions of the Ugly American. That third recommendation is a good one to keep in mind wherever you are. I’ll be sure to ask everyone I encounter “are you a scam artist?”