Swiper, No Swiping!
Pickpockets love travelers.
Travelers are prime targets because they are presumably unfamiliar with their surroundings, distracted by the new sites and carrying valuable items.
Do not worry, however. Two can play at this game. Pickpockets ain't got nothing against these tips.
- Don't look like a tourist.
Don't wear clothes that flag you as a tourist. (Especially a wealthy tourist.) If you want to blend in, it's not just about how you dress. It's about how you act. Burying your nose in your phone while searching for where to go next—and how to get there—makes it obvious you have no idea where you are.
- Carry a decoy wallet.
If pickpockets are gonna pick, carry a second wallet in your back pockets, purse or bag that's filled with just enough to make them think it's your real wallet: a small amount of cash, some expired credit cards and an old ID. Then, safely hide your real wallet—or at least your cash, credit cards and travel documents.
- Invest in a money belt.
While moneybelts sound neither flattering nor comfortable, they certainly are practical. Moneybelts are a great way to hide all of your cash, credit cards and travel documents where thieves cannot see them.
- Avoid walking through huge crowds of people.
Not always possible while traveling, but an important consideration. Try to commute to attractions and visits sites at low-traffic hours, or consider alternative (safe) routes.
- Men can put a rubber band around their wallet.
It makes it more difficult to slip it out of pockets.
- Don't carry an open bag.
If you have valuables in the bag, the bag better have zippers or an obscene number of knots and ties.
- Don't carry all your money in one wallet.
Ideally, you shouldn't carry a lot of money with you. If you must, however, it's smart to carry money in separate locations.
- Don't flash your cash.
While you're paying for things, try not to show the amount of money you have with you.
Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.