For many, vacation time is right around the corner and the thought of the perfect getaway does not include being a victim of crime. While most vacations will go as planned, some will fall victim to petty theft: mainly purse snatching and pickpockets. Thieves target tourists because they are the ones with the money.
1) Wear a money belt – This is the most important thing you can do to lower the chances of being pick-pocketed. A money belt is worn under your clothing; this is where you keep your passport, extra credit cards and cash.
2) Do not put anything in your back pocket – The outline of a wallet in the back pocket is advertising to pickpockets to rob you, especially in crowded areas like metro platforms and escalators.
3) Valuables need to stay in your hotel room – Laptops, tablets and such are much safer in your hotel room than in the bottom of a bag on the streets.
4) Walk with purpose and confidence – Pickpockets look for the confused tourists–the ones constantly looking at a map, taking hesitant steps, having a “deer in the headlights” look on their face.
5) Secure your belongings – When sitting or eating, never put your purse/bag on the chair behind you or on the ground.
6) Carry a purse or bag with the flap against your body – You want to cut down the number of entry points into your bag so thieves’ fingers have fewer places to wander.
7) Get to know your new money before heading out – If you’re traveling out of the country you will be confronted with foreign money.
8) Stay clear of commotions and avoid crowds – A fight breaking out, someone dropping items, even people falling down are most likely a smokescreen for bad guys wanting to separate tourists from their money.
9) Know how they work – Get to know the local scams thieves use to rob travelers. Most guidebooks will have a section just on this.
10) Be unpredictable – If you get the feeling someone is following you, change directions. Go into the nearest shop/hotel/restaurant and wait a few minutes.
by Adrian Kalvinskas
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