This is what probably happened with the European citizens who found their names on the frontpages worldwide as being part of the Israeli hit team.
The report by the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) into the use of cloned British passports in the Dubai assassination makes clear their view that this is what happened as Britons travelled through the airport in the months and years before the plot was hatched to kill the Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
The Soca report concluded that the passports must have been cloned at the airport or at other interfaces with Israeli officialdom, such as airline offices in other countries. There were no other links between the 12 individuals whose identities were stolen.
According to insiders, the language in the Soca report, produced after a four-week investigation, was "direct" and the findings unequivocal: the inquiry showed that the victims' data was taken, stored and passed on when they handed their passports to Israeli officials or those linked to them.
"We cannot pin it on individuals, but the evidence draws us to the conclusion that the only place these passports could have been cloned is when they were inspected at the Israeli border or in other countries, where they were passed to Israelis," said one source."