Pickpocketing is a serious problem in tourist destinations all over the world. Every day a frightening number of pickpocket incidents occur all around the globe. According to the official statistic around 400, 000 pickpocket incidents occur around the world daily. NYPD reports 3,000 incidents of pickpocketing a day, however, most go unreported. 1 out of every 4 tourists in NY will be pickpocketed. During big and important events like Olympic games or football matches, a number of victims soared drastically. For instance, during the Summer Olympic Games in London, reported (we’d like to mention the only reported) incidents of pickpocketing rose to 1700 a day. The most likely to be pickpocketed near the main tourist attractions of the city like Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame and Sacre-Cœur in Paris.
Taking into the account, that losses from such a petty crime might be gigantic (nobody wants to stuck in the foreign country without documents and money) we compiled tips and tricks of how to avoid being pocketed abroad.
Here are some most used tactics of the pickpockets:
On the street:
Distraction technique is commonly used. Two or more people will approach asking the directions or try to sell you something. While you occupied with one person, another one will pick your pocket, bag or back bag. Also, there is widely used a scheme when something is thrown or spilled on you. It might be water, cafe or ice-cream, the result is the same. So, simply be alert if something similar will happen to you on the street.
Use only those machines, that are well lit, preferably use ATM’s that are located inside the banks. It will allow to avoid the tactic that includes people walking up and asking for directions while someone is using ATM in order to get your code or card number.
On the metro:
Crush and grab is the most popular tactic pickpockets use. You will be swarmed by several people trying to get on or off. While they are pushing you, they are also picking your pockets.
Try to minimize access to your pockets, always keep a hand on your stuff and be vigilant at public transport, particularly while rush hours.
Have money on you only for day expenses
Try to keep only what is essential: 1 ATM card, 1 piece of identification (better have a copy of the passport), and maximum 50$ in cash. In addition, try to have the copies of everything you have in your wallet.
Avoid back pockets
The most vulnerable place on you. Don’t keep anything valuable there.
Shorten the strap on your bag
Dangling bags are easier to grab. Particularly very useful advice for Asian countries, where bag snatching is more common than in European countries.
You are more vulnerable in the crowd as its easier for thieves to approach to you.
Don’t flash money on the street
Exposed money can be easily snatched.
This is the list of the most dangerous cities in the world in terms of pickpocketing risk:
- Buenos Aires