Thursday, February 27, 2020

Pickpockets when traveling

October 25, 2011 by  
Filed under travel tips

o matter where you travel, if you visit a big city, chances are there are going to be pick pockets and scammers in play. Knowing that they exist, and what their common ploys are can help you protect yourself, your money, and your important documents while traveling. Consider the following:

Plan for the worst- Even if you know everything there is to know about pick pockets, their schemes, etc. it can still have to you. So, make a plan that covers the worst case scenario. Make sure you have copies of your passport (color) kept somewhere other than where your wallet is. The color copy will make getting a replacement far easier. You will likely want to make two copies, keep one in the hotel, and the other at home with a friend so if you need to they can fax or mail it to you. You may also want to write out your credit card numbers on the back. You want to make sure you have your credit card numbers and phone numbers written out so if your wallet gets stolen you will know where to call and can take care of things right away.

Once you have a plan in place, it is time to do some prevention. Start by taking any unnecessary cards out of your wallet. You don’t need a library card when you are out of town, and it will be a hassle to replace such things.  You will also want to put your wallet in your front pocket or wear a money belt. You can also wear one of those wallet pouches that hang around your neck and go under your shirt. They are more difficult for thieves to access, which means your money will be safer. You may also want to pack some big zip lock bags, that way you can keep your money close, even when you are in the shower. This is especially important if you are staying in a dorm style hostel or hotel.

Be familiar with the signs of pick pockets- Often women with babies, those who look hurt, or sick, or who approach you for money etc. are used as distractions to turn your attention while someone else pick pockets you. If you get jostled in a crowd, you may be getting pick pocketed. If you see a big scene, like a shop keeper chewing out a local, they may be in on a scheme and are drawing your attention while pick pockets in the crowd lighten your wallet or riffle through your purse or backpack.

Keep your money safe, try not to wear a backpack, as it is easier for thieves to access and you may not notice the disturbance because it is on your back. It is better to wear a messenger bag. It can be useful to zip zippers and use twist ties to keep things closed, as often even small deterrents can protect you from a pick pocket. Be especially careful in crowded areas, on trains and buses, and anywhere that is a popular tourist destination.

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