Security and Safety Tips

Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

In order to stay up-to-date on information regarding traveling and living in Argentina, American citizens can enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Messages for U.S. Citizens

Stay up to date with the most recent Department of State Travel Alerts and Embassy-issued Messages for U.S. Citizens.

Crime Victim Assistance and Personal Safety Tips

It is important to be aware of your surroundings at all times to avoid becoming a victim. Crimes reported by U.S. citizens to the Embassy indicate that they are most often victims of theft or non-violent robbery, especially within tourist neighborhoods like La Boca or Recoleta. Remember that crime can occur at any time of the day, anywhere, and that robbers are often well-dressed and not easy to identify.

For more information on resources for crime victims, click here.

To report a crime involving a U.S. citizen to the U.S. Embassy, click here.

Tips:

  1. Guard purses, backpacks, laptops, and luggage, especially on public transportation, at airports, bus terminals, and restaurants. In restaurants, keep your bag in your lap and not on the chair or floor.
  2. Be aware of the “mustard” scheme and other robbery strategies involving two or more people. One person distracts the victim by offering to wipe something off of them, asking them for the time, bumping into them, etc. while their partner nabs their wallet or bag.
  3. Use bags that hang across the front of your body so that you can have your hand on the bag and see it at all times.
  4. Wear your backpack on your front in congested areas.
  5. Do not travel in unfamiliar areas alone, especially at night.
  6. Do not call attention to the fact that you are a foreigner by talking loudly or causing other disruptions. Keep a low profile to make yourself less of a target.
  7. Do not wear flashy or expensive jewelry and watches or expose cameras, cell phones, or other expensive technology devices.
  8. Lock your passport in the hotel safe or your luggage and carry a photocopy of it.
  9. Do not carry large amounts of cash, and use ATMs in public places.
  10. If confronted, do not resist. Hand over what is being asked of you to avoid a violent situation.
  11. Be alert to cash transactions, especially in taxis, to make sure you do not receive counterfeit pesos. Examine the pesos you receive, by holding them to the light to look for the defined watermark of the face of a former president with their initials printed below. A vertical silver line should appear and when held to the light the silver line should appear solid black with micro printing on it. On counterfeit bills this silver line turns dotted.
  12. Watch the hands of the taxi driver at all times when exchanging money to make sure he/she does not trade your good bill for a counterfeit one and try to give it back to you insisting you gave him/her a fake. When possible pay in exact change and don’t use large bills that require a lot of change.

Become a Warden/Volunteer for the U.S. Embassy

Help your American expat community by volunteering as a warden and serving as a point of contact between the U.S. Embassy and Americans in Argentina. Please contact the Embassy at BuenosAires-ACS@state.gov if you are interested in this opportunity.