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How To Prevent Pick Pocketing And What To Do If You Are

Although there is not much major crime that takes place in tourist locations, there is. However, enough pickpocketing happening that can make you take notice.

Unfortunately, tourists are always targeted by petty thieves. The main reason is that they know how to get away with it. They also know what a tourist will usually have in their pocket, valuables, and cash. They know that they are also going to be jet-lagged and tired after a 15-hour flight that landed in a foreign land. This makes us become easy targets.

You become a bigger target if you are never aware of your surroundings and will likely be a victim of theft. Just in one summer, 95% of tourists or foreign travelers will lose valuables and not know how or where to turn to in case it happens. However, if you stay focused, aware, and prevent yourself from being vulnerable, then you should have an uneventful vacation. It’s always better to be careful than fearful.

In order to be prepared, there are a few steps to consider before, during, and after your travels in order to prevent yourself from being pickpocketed.

Preparedness is key

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Prior to making travel plans, it would help if you made sure that the things that you might lose will be the bare minimum. Make sure that you have copies of everything and preferably digitized. Obtaining insurance that covers theft is a smart idea, especially when you have expensive items come up missing. There is no need to take any bling with you or anything else that’ll help you stand out in a crowd. If you do have electronics stolen, then you will be out of more than just that technology – but you’ll also lose any identifying data that it contained. A good example is a cellular phone that might have photos. To avoid this type of loss, your best bet will be back up all of your phone’s information and photos so that you can retrieve them.

Invest in a money belt

This is a great way to always be in control of the valuables without having to put them in your pocket. It’s similar to a fanny pack and is worn around the waist.

Utilize your hotel room’s safe

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This is in your room for a reason to safeguard your bling and all other expensive items that you don’t feel like losing. The safe can provide a feeling of security and comfort. This a great place to stash your passport because you’ll have a copy of it on you when you go out.

Make sure your valuables are secured

The main objective of a pickpocket is to have you separated from the items that matter to you. This means you need to create an effective obstacle so that you have an effective deterrent. You can accomplish this by locking the zippers of your bag by using material that will take some effort to access. However, if the pickpocket is determined and successful in acquiring your wallet from your back pocket (which has your ID, SSA card, and credit cards), then you’ll have to go through the process of replacement. Of course, you’ll have to wait to replace your ID back in the states and call your credit card issuers, but for your SSA card, you can get a replacement social security card online through the SSA website.

Don’t leave items unattended

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These include tickets, wallets, passports, phones, and cameras. Make sure to have these secured for easy access. If you use your phone in a business that is crowded, make sure it’s in a pocket, preferably the front pockets, and not out in plain view. Then, before you leave, you can put it in the original safe place. Be aware that thieves are even known to be bold and grabbing things that you could even be holding onto. So, the next time that you see the perfect photo op, make sure that you observe the people around you before taking a photo or talking on your cell. It will be kind of hard for you to chase someone through a city that you are unfamiliar with, unlike the thief.

A good way to reduce the risks is by keeping your devices physically on you so that you will not forget to take it with you. An example of this has the camera that you plan to use secured by the strap so that it can’t be easily grabbed. You can also utilize lanyards in order to secure your electronics if you have no other options available.

Make sure that you maintain discretion as you hide your belongings so that the pick-pockets don’t see you. This is important if you don’t plan to keep everything in your fanny pack. Any thief can recognize an easy victim like the tourist who has a bulging pocket or continuously touches their purse to ensure their belongings are there.

Maintain vigilance while in crowded areas

Whenever you see yourself in a big crowd, you need to be extra alert. The reason why is because any trouble could be a diversion for thieves to strike. So keep that in mind the next time you hear about an uprising in the area that you’re visiting.

Be wary if you travel by train because you may become disoriented in the new location shortly after arrival. You can easily experience a little nudge or bump before you notice that your wallet has been snatched if you are traveling as a pair trade off watching the bags so that you don’t run the risk of having luggage in line with you. The idea is to remain within physical reach. This also goes for any luggage that you check; ensure the claim ticket remains on your persons. If a thief grabs this then you can most certainly say goodbye to your luggage. If you’re on a train or public transportation, keep your bags on your lap so that a thief will be unable to snatch it and then run off with it.

There are many tourist areas that pick-pockets keep their eyes on waiting for their next victim. For example, in Rome, the #64 city bus can be full of thieves who just ride around on the bus, just snatching small items. This is why you need to remain aware of your surroundings at all times. Also, be aware of the turnstiles at subway stations. A pic-pocket can easily snatch your bag and run away as soon as you pass through, leaving you stuck and unable to give chase. Maintaining vigilance can make all of the difference between keeping your belongings and losing your belongings.

Don’t allow a loss to ruin your trip

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Sure, the last thing that you want to happen to you while traveling is to be pick-pocketed. However, you need to realize that it does happen and happens when you least expect it. Since you know it happens, don’t let it ruin your entire vacation time. If your wallet gets stolen, you can easily get your ID replaced at If your passport gets stolen, you’ll need to go to the US Embassy (with your birth certificate) to order a replacement.

It’s hard to say exactly how many pic-pocket thieves there are in the world’s tourist spots, but the good thing is that the crimes that do happen are all nonviolent. This why it is best to avoid the areas that either look suspicious or you have a bad feeling about.

About Marta Sebos