3 ways of avoiding to become the next victim of pickpockets

3 ways of avoiding to become the next victim of pickpockets

No traveller wants their vacation ruined by falling into victim of pickpockets. But unfortunately, pickpockets are bound to target travellers and visitors who seem out of place when they are out sightseeing in cities such as Paris and other big cities packed with tourist all over the world.

Whilst no one wants to be the victim of theft and pickpocket, there are a few things you can do to minimise your chances of being a target of pickpockets.

Some easier tip is to always wear your handbag or rucksack in the front and never by the side or the back so that you can always keep a close hand to it. 

Pickpockets and thieves will mostly find their targets near tourist attractions so be extra careful and vigilant when you’re sightseeing.

Here are 3 tips and tricks on how and where pickpockets and thieves are most likely to strike their victim.

1) Public transportation pickpockets

2017 train photo1

In Paris, people mainly get pickpocketed on the metro, so some advice is to watch out for anyone standing too close to you. You will be swarmed by several people trying to get on or off the metro. While they are pushing and rushing past you, some are also picking your pockets. Another thing pickpockets do is to grab the valuables of someone sitting right by the door and to hop off just as the doors are closing. Be extra careful at the train and bus stations where you may be handling your luggage – this is often a situation where you will be distracted with yourself and you would be an easy target for pickpockets.

2) Street pickpockets

Most pickpockets are the ones that you would not even recognise as pickpockets. These pickpockets would first study a tourist’s behaviour and where they would place their phone and valuable items. They would be fitting in a crowd by behaving normally as to not bring any attention towards themselves.
Pickpockets have many places to find their victim. A common place would be in a busy walking street and cross roads. When people are pushing past everyone in such a close proximity, this is when the pick pockets hands dip into their victims’ unattended bag and steal their belongings.
Another thing that happens is one of these pickpockets will say that they've had their phone or any other valuable items stolen or they would yell “Thief!” and then everyone will instinctively check their pockets. This tactic will show the pickpockets which pockets have valuable things in them and will strike their victims whenever they are dazed and distracted.
Another type of pick pockets is when the pick pockets go to tourist and ask them to “sign a petition”, initially not asking for money but afterwards when you are done filling the form, they would be asking for money.

2017 group pickpocket1

3) Group pickpockets

This type of pickpockets most commonly work in a group of 2 or more people. Their common tactic is to perform in a busy place, posed as street performers to gain the people’s attention. When the tourist’s attention is diverted to the street performers, this is when the other pickpockets strike. Do not underestimate them; they have various ways and tools to access your belongings. Some of them will use a knife to cut through your backpack and handbag so that your belongings will fall easier into their hands. Other than that, some of them that are standing next to you so they could easily pickpocket your phone and wallet while you are watching the performance. So if you do decide to watch these performances, keep a wary eye on your surrounding and your valuables.

2017 street pick pocket1Image credit: Wikimedia

If you do fall victim of pickpockets, here are some immediate steps you need to take.

1. Shout and look for the nearest Police officer near you.
2. File a report at the nearest police station near you.
3. If your passport has been stolen, go to your countries embassy centre or website to issue a replacement.
4. If you have lost all of your money, contact your family or friends to transfer immediate money to you.

But in general you should be fine because it doesn't happen too often. But it is best to take precaution and avoid putting yourself in risky situations. Always be aware of your surrounding and be mindful of the dangers but relax and enjoy your trip. The next time you are travelling in a big city and you want locals to bring you around, download the mobile app www.nuflit.com/app to choose from a various selection of locals who know their way around their city.

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