Pick pocketing is one of the biggest crimes for tourists to suffer. The reasons for this are simple; tourists are more likely than regular citizens to be carrying their valuable belongings with them, making them a prime target for pick pocketers.
The risk of pick pocketing is higher if you are in a big city, and particularly a crowded area. Also be wary when visiting a foreign market; while the cultural thrill is immense, these markets are also prime locations for pick pocketers to target.
To minimize the risk of being pick pocketed - and to make it less damaging if it does happen - follow the steps below:
- Distribute your money.
Do not carry cash and credit cards in one single wallet when out and about on holiday. Distribute cash and cards in different areas, pockets, bags and preferably among different people in your group. That way, if a thief does get their hands on something of yours, you've not lost everything.
- Don't want a fanny pack / bum bag.
Fanny packs (also known as bum bags) make you a target. You're essentially strapping something around your waist that says: here is where I'm keeping my valuable items! Instead, use a money belt which can be hidden beneath clothes if you don't want to actively be carrying a bag in your hands. If you must wear a fanny pack, only store items you can afford to lose in it.
- Don't display items.
Thieves can often see the outline of what it is someone's pocket - this is particularly true for wallets. Don't store items in your back pockets wherever possible, and if you do need to, push them tightly inside so they can't be removed easily.