Some Good Tips To Avoid Getting Pickpocketed In Europe

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Does pickpocketing happen In Europe?

Yes, pickpocketing can occur in various parts of Europe, particularly in crowded tourist areas or busy city centres. It is important to remain cautious and aware of one’s surroundings to minimize the risk of falling victim to pickpockets.

Pickpocketing techniques can vary, but common tactics include:

  • Distraction: Pickpockets may create a diversion, such as bumping into you, asking for directions, or spilling something on you, to divert your attention while they steal from you.
  • Crowded places: Busy tourist attractions, public transportation, markets, or festivals tend to attract pickpockets due to the large number of potential victims and the confusion caused by crowds.
  • Bag slashing: Pickpockets may use a sharp object to quickly slash open bags or pockets to steal valuables.
  • Teamwork: Sometimes, pickpockets work in groups to orchestrate distractions and thefts. One person may distract you while the other steals from you.
  • Public transportation: Pickpockets often target commuters or tourists on buses, trains, or trams, where it can be easier to blend in and escape quickly.

While pickpocketing can happen anywhere, it does not mean that Europe is more dangerous than other places. It is simply a matter of being vigilant, using common sense, and taking preventative measures, such as keeping valuables secure, utilizing bags with anti-theft features, and avoiding displaying expensive items openly. Local authorities and tourist information centres in Europe often provide specific guidance to travellers regarding common scams or areas with higher pickpocketing risks.

How to avoid it

Here are some good tips to avoid getting pickpocketed in Europe:

  1. Stay aware of your surroundings: Be attentive and observe the people around you, especially in crowded areas or public transportation. Avoid distractions such as using your phone or wearing headphones that may make you an easier target.
  2. Keep valuables out of sight: Avoid displaying expensive items like flashy jewelry, expensive cameras, or large amounts of cash in public. Use discreet bags or money belts to store your valuables close to your body.
  3. Carry a secure bag: Opt for bags with zippers or compartments that can be closed properly. Cross-body bags are generally more secure than backpacks or purses that can be easily accessed by pickpockets.
  4. Be cautious in crowded places: Be extra careful in crowded areas, tourist attractions, markets, or public transportation where pickpockets are often active. Maintain extra caution when people bump into you or create distractions.
  5. Use money belts or hidden pockets: Invest in a good-quality money belt or hidden pocket to store your cash, passport, and other important documents while traveling. These hidden compartments can be worn underneath your clothing and are harder to access for pickpockets.
  6. Don’t keep all your items in one place: Split your money, credit cards, and important documents into different pockets or compartments. This way, even if you are targeted, you won’t lose all your valuables at once.
  7. Avoid keeping items in back pockets: Keep your wallet, phone, or other valuable items in your front pockets or in a secure place rather than your back pockets. Back pockets are easier targets for pickpockets.
  8. Be cautious in crowded public transportation: Pickpockets often target tourists in crowded buses, trains, or metros. Stay vigilant, hold on to your belongings tightly, and avoid keeping valuables in easily accessible pockets.
  9. Use hotel safes: If your accommodation provides a safe, utilize it to store your valuables like passports, extra cash, or backup cards when you’re not using them.
  10. Familiarize yourself with common pickpocketing tactics: Knowing the common tricks and tactics used by pickpockets can help you recognize and avoid them. Some common tactics include distraction through bumping or spilling something on you, asking for directions or help while an accomplice steals your belongings, or using diversion techniques like a sudden fight or commotion.

Remember, staying alert, being cautious, and taking necessary precautions can significantly reduce the risk of being pickpocketed while traveling in Europe.

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