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Why You Should "Never Trust a Hotel Safe," Expert Says in New Video

It appears hotel room lockboxes aren't as thief-proof as tourists may believe.

Safety-conscious travelers will usually double-check to make sure their hotel room comes with a hotel-appointed lockbox, where they can securely stow their cash, passports, tech gadgets, jewelry, and any other personal effects. But is a hotel safe really that much more secure than stashing valuables in a suitcase or a different hiding spot? One social media user is warning travelers that hotel lockboxes aren't as thief-proof as tourists may think.

According to TikToker Umair Imtiaz, guests should "never trust a hotel safe." In a new video, the content creator demonstrates just how easily a thief—or anyone for that matter—can hack into a hotel lockbox with a simple "super" passcode.

RELATED: I'm a Hotel Employee and the Free Breakfast Isn't as Fresh as You Think.

"Never trust a hotel safe," Imtiaz said in the clip while filling a hotel lockbox with $100 bills and a clothing iron. He proceeds to close the vault and trigger the locking system by entering his personal passcode "80085."

"You think that by locking it in a safe and making up your own combination that it'll be safe. It says it's closed. It says it's locked," Imtiaz continued. "Nobody knows your combination."

While the lockbox is indeed securely locked, Imtiaz shows that pressing the "lock" button twice on the safe's keypad will prompt the word "super" to appear on the display screen. This means the safe can now be opened using the master passcode.

"Now all you have to do is hit 'zero' six times, and it opens up," Imtiaz said. He proved his method by entering "000000" on the keypad, and the door swung open without hesitation.

"That doesn't seem very safe," he added.


Never Trust Hotel Safe becareful travelers summer is the around corner holiday season is going to start soon becareful everyone. #viral #foryou #fyp #helpful #hacks #dadtok #trending #CapCut #hotelsafe #hotelroom #hotelsafetytips #momtiktok

♬ original sound – Umair Imtiaz


Imitaz's TikTok has garnered more than five million views this month as folks begin ramping up for summer travel.

"Summer is around the corner. Holiday season is going to start soon," Imtiaz warned followers in his video caption. He said hotel guests should stay alert and "be careful" when utilizing their room's safety box.

The travel tip has resonated with hundreds of TikTokers, some of whom are vowing to never use hotel safes again.

"I never leave anything of value in a hotel room," one person said.

"The irony of this unsafe safe is real!" cried another.

"No safe is 100% safe," a user said, while another added, "I always lock stuff in my bag."

A hotel employee also chimed in, corroborating Imtiaz's safety tip. "I work in hotels. Most of times 000000 is the code to unlock them," they confirmed.

Another TikToker warned that the "default" code could be the hotel room's number or the zipcode of the hotel's address.

RELATED: 8 Things You Should Never Do at a Hotel, Experts Warn.

This isn't the first time people have warned against using hotel-appointed safes. In 2018, YouTube user @LockPickingLawyer showed that Sāflok lockboxes, which are fairly common in hotels, can be hacked by entering the factory code.

After setting his own code, he hit the "lock" button twice before entering the factory code "99999." Just like with the "super" code used by Imtiaz, the safe's door opens.

According to hotel global risk consultant Stefan Vito Hiller, lockbox security flaws are a well-known issue in the hotel industry and have been for quite some time.

"It is a common known problem in hotels since the beginning of in-room safes," he told The Independent in a 2018 interview. "It is standard in our security audits to check for default code settings, and occasionally we find safes with this setting."

Vito Hiller also warned that resort-style hotels are susceptible to lockbox break-ins just as much as budget hotels.

"Default-code settings can be found also in four- and five-star hotels around the world," he added. "When safes get installed, it is the hotel's responsibility to change those codes, but because of a lack of product knowledge by hotel management, it doesn't often get changed."

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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