Whether you are sipping a cocktail on a beach in Thailand or taking selfies in front of iconic art pieces in France, do not forget that tourists make soft targets for crime across the globe.
Though traveling is a wonderful opportunity to expand your horizons, travelers should never forget that our world is unequal. Some countries are literally destroyed by armed conflicts, gang crime, and corruption, while other places are unsafe due to extreme weather and severe human-made pollution.
Even if a tourist has enough information about their dream destination, even if they follow common-sense precautions, some beautiful places remain nerve-wracking crime hotspots.
From petty crime to kidnapping, here are 10 countries where Americans are more likely to become victims of crime. What’s your tale of attempted crime?
11 Hostage-Takings And Extortion Are Widespread In Afghanistan
Though the Middle East is full of amazing delicacies and ancient gems, it’s not a secret that the whole region is highly volatile. Afghanistan, in particular, is one of the most dangerous countries in the whole of Asia. Thus, according to the State Department, tourists should not travel to Afghanistan. Kidnappings, hostage-taking, and extortion are common. Note that evacuation missions are also restricted due to the political situation in the area.
10 Pirates In Somalia Often Target Westerners
The African nation of Somalia is another travel destination that tourists from all over the globe should avoid. Let's not forget that the notorious pirates off the coast of Somalia do not hesitate to attack both locals and Westerners. American travelers, in particular, are more likely to become victims of crime, including kidnapping and murder. Journalist Michael Scott Moore, for example, spent almost three years in captivity in Somalia; three years marked by insecurity, fear, and pain.
9 Civil Problems And Shortages Of Medicines Are Common In Venezuela
Though South America is a wonderful mixture of cultures, ancient ruins, and natural wonders, US citizens are advised to avoid Venezuela, particularly Caracas and the Colombian border. Due to high levels of crime and civil tension (with a homicide rate of 49.2 per 100,000 people), Venezuela is a Level 4 country, according to The Stacker. We should note that shortages of medicine are another problem that can become a serious threat to tourists.
8 Burkina Faso Is A Level 4 Country
Burkina Faso is an extraordinary place situated in Africa. Yet, this small country is one of the most dangerous countries in the whole world. Due to the increasing number of attacks with no warning, American tourists should not travel to Burkina Faso and its border with Mali. Note that embassies are also targeted by terrorists. Sadly, Jihadist attacks have forced thousands of kids out of school, as reported by BBC.
7 Yemen Is A Dangerous Country For Tourists
Yemen is another dangerous destination that Americans should avoid. As the country is one of the most unfortunate places in the Arab world, the State Department warns US citizens that there is no safe area in Yemen. The armed conflicts between Yemen, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have led to limited medical care, drinking water, and food. Sadly, the world’s biggest cholera outbreak happened in Yemen and many locals lost their lives.
6 No Place To Run In Uganda
There’s no doubt that Uganda is a beautiful place and a popular destination, especially for gorilla trekking. While the country is viewed as a safe place to visit, tourists should not forget about the political instability in the country, as well as the illicit trafficking in the region. Alarmingly, in 2019 American tourist Kimberly Sue Endicott and her tour guide were kidnapped by an armed gang while on a tour.
5 There Is Still Social Tension In Ukraine
Beautiful Ukraine - a place flooded with Instagram influencers taking disrespectful Chernobyl pictures - is another destination where American tourists are more likely to become victims of crime. While Ukraine is a safe country, with beautiful cities such as Kyiv, Lviv, and Odessa, we should not forget that social tension is still high in some unstable regions, such as Donetsk, Luhansk, and Crimea. Note that Crimea triggered a huge crisis between Russia and the rest of the world.
4 US Citizens Are Often The Targets Of Violence For Ransom In Libya
Even though North Africa is an amazing and versatile region, some countries there are highly dangerous. Libya, for example, is one of the travel destinations that Americans should avoid. From jagged past and civil unrest, marked by Gaddafi's legacy, to terrorist attacks and armed groups, Libya is a dangerous country to visit. Unfortunately, the political situation in the country has led to the rise of ISIS in Libya. Note that the notorious militant Islamist group is still active across the world.
3 Gang-Related Crime Is On The Rise In El Salvador
El Salvador is one of the most controversial places in Central America and the rest of the world, often described as a country controlled by street gangs. With an extremely high homicide rate, El Salvador is one of the most dangerous destinations for tourists. American travelers should always seek local guides in order to avoid becoming victims of extortion and street crime. Sadly, local women, children, and journalists are the main targets of violence, torture, and trafficking.
2 Arrests And Hard Labor Are Common Across North Korea
Planning on visiting North Korea? Think twice! First of all, there are draconian restrictions on the use of a US passport for travel to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea; the ban took place in 2017. Then, let's not forget that North Korea is one of the most controversial countries in the world, with no freedom of speech. In fact, the North Korean supreme leader claims that Westerners are immoral, so many have been arrested and sentenced to hard labor.
1 Petty Crime Across Italy And Spain
While we often associate crime with terrorist attacks, extreme violence, and police corruption, the truth is that tourists across the globe are more likely to become victims of petty crime. American tourists should be cautious when visiting popular places, such as Spain and Italy. Interestingly, according to the Guardian, beautiful Barcelona is a street crime hotspot. From pick-pocketing to travel scams, tourists make easy targets as they often carry large amounts of money, valuable possessions, and documents.