Safe Tips

DEATUR, the São Paulo City Police unit which operates  just for tourists, has the following suggestions to make your stay in São Paulo  as pleasant and safe as possible. These tips are based on tourist safety  research carried out around the world.       To call DEATUR, just dial 3257-4475

At the airport

Pay close attention during check-in and when claiming  baggage as these are the most critical times for travelers, who are often  tired. Airport crowds can also be distracting, making travelers more vulnerable  to theft. Always remain alert at airport terminals and remember the following: Upon claiming your baggage, make sure it is closed  in the exact same manner as when you checked it. To ask for information or assistance always look for  an identified police officer or an employee of the airline you are using. Never  talk to strangers. There is a DEATUR police station at all São Paulo airports,  staffed by specially trained professionals to provide assistance to travelers. Always keep a close eye on your belongings. Be  careful with men or women who approach you to ask questions. Their objective  could be simply to distract you. Respond normally while not letting your  baggage out of your sight. Do not open suitcases or other bags in public,  especially if they contain electronic equipment or money. Never handle large quantities of cash in public. If you must use an ATM, make sure no one is watching  when you enter your security code. If the machine malfunctions, only request  assistance from identified employees.  Never agree to carry packages for people you don’t  know. If another person is not feeling well and asks you  to go get help, do so but do not leave your belongings with this person, even  if he or she insists that you can move more quickly without your belongings. When using taxis or renting cars, choose only  registered professionals and companies. When entering the vehicle, ask that all  your belongings be placed in the trunk. If the driver refuses, look for another  taxi. It is important to keep your luggage in the trunk,  especially if you are carrying a laptop computer. When using your mobile phone inside the taxi, keep  the device away from the window. In slow moving traffic, do not handle large  quantities of cash inside the vehicle.

At hotels

It is important to pay special attention at hotels, as  visitors spend the majority of their time there. Despite having security guards  and a close relationship with the police, hotels are not immune to crime.  Follow these suggestions to have a more pleasant stay:  While checking in or out, leave your bags with a  hotel employee or keep them in front of you, preferably between your body and  the reception counter. During meals, leave your belongings inside the room,  or ask an employee to keep them for you while you dine. Never leave your wallet, purse, cell phone or  handheld computer on the table if you need to get up momentarily. Always keep your belongings in sight while in hotel  common areas. Never put them next to you or behind your seat and always keep  them close by. Don’t bring people you don’t know to the hotel.  If you do receive visitors in the room where you are  staying, it is mandatory that they fill out the visitor registration form. When you want to go out, ask the hotel employees for  information. They can help you with good suggestions for activities and  restaurants that are safe and conveniently located. If you are organizing an event at the hotel, all  participants should be properly identified with badges. When leaving meeting  rooms, make sure the doors are closed. Keep hotel security well informed before  and during the event. Use the safe in your hotel room. Try not to discuss important matters, especially  those involving money, near people you don’t know. Never accept help from strangers. All hotel  employees in the city wear uniforms with proper identification during work  hours, and are trained to help visitors.

At restaurants

During meals your attention is focused on the table,  which could compromise your safety. Follow this advice to avoid problems: Choose places recommended by friends or the staff at  your hotel. Find out the best way to get there, the best time to go and what  type of service the restaurant offers, etc. When you get to the restaurant, ask that your bag or  baggage be checked. Use baggage locks if you are carrying valuable objects or  money. When your objects are returned to you, make sure everything is in order. If the restaurant does not have suitable place to  safeguard your belongings, keep a close eye on them.  Never leave valuable objects on the table such as  wallets or mobile phones, especially if you have to get up from the table, even  momentarily.

In public areas or at large-scale  events

Events and public places where there are a lot of  people with bags and other belongings are attractive targets for thieves. Take  the following precautions to avoid any unpleasant occurrences:  Avoid talking to strangers, especially those who are  insistent.  Always keep an eye on your belongings.  Never give out personal information. Do not handle large amounts of cash. Carry camcorders and cameras discreetly.  Use only officially registered forms of  transportation.  If you need assistance, look for a properly  identified employee.