Don’t be a victim of pick pocketing abroad! Sometimes it’s easier said than done, because in many parts of the world (especially Europe) people make their living off this unsavory act. It may be likely that you get pick pocketed even if you are safe about it. The art of pick-pocketing can definitely be protected against for by following a few simple tips to make you a less obvious target!
- Men- do not carry your wallet in your back pocket. Always go front pocket, or even better use a slim money clip.
- Women- make sure your purses can be closed tightly with a zipper.
(This may not guarantee protection, but it’s less of a target then just a normal tote bag or something that doesn’t close securely) Also, make sure you are wearing your purse across your body, as it is much harder to grab.
- When traveling on public transportation or eating in restaurants, hold your bag in your lap, or place it at your feet, AT ALL TIMES.
- Carry any extraneous bags/purses on your side rather than at your hip
- Do not carry a lot of cash on you. If you go to the ATM, go home directly and put the extra money in a safe spot.
- Do not carry your original important documents on you. Unless it is required by your host country’s law, carry only copies and leave the real ones in a safe spot at your home. If for any reason the original documents get stole, contact the American Embassy in your city as soon as possible. For a few hundred dollars they can help you get a new Passport.
These are some basic precautions to guard you against personal theft, but the biggest thing you can do for yourself is to BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS!
A little extra common sense and awareness can really go a long way.
OIE Peer Advisor