I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “It’s a jungle out there” and that definitely rings true for several of Europe’s most popular vacation destinations. Pickpockets and their scams come in all different shapes and sizes, so staying alert and on your toes will take you a long way. Checking out our tips on how to avoid pickpockets in Europe will take you the rest of the way to safety while you enjoy Europe’s amazing history.
Where To Look For Pickpockets
Pickpockets work in every major tourist destination you’ll visit in Europe. All the popular places like Paris, London, Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Prague, Budapest and many, many more.
You’ll see them even if you don’t recognize them. They hang around random gatherings of people, congested city streets, crowded metro and bus lines, busy plazas, and anywhere an unsuspecting tourist might be.
They will act as your friend as if they want to sell you something as if they want to help you with your bag or directions. Most times you won’t be aware they are present until you feel their hand in your pocket or their arm through your handbag strap if you’re lucky.
Spotting A Thief
Pickpockets and thieves come in all shapes, ages, and nationalities. Generally, though pickpockets will be younger and more willing to deal with the trouble and circumstances that come along with living that sort of lifestyle.
They like to work in groups. They have different distraction scenarios that they enact to get your attention sidetracked while they work your bag or wallet off your person. There’s the “Clipboard Scheme”. This is where a pair of teens or younger people will approach you with clipboards asking for your signature for some cause. Don’t fall for it! It’s a distraction and can leave you vulnerable to theft.
Just realize just about anyone who tries and garner your attention is probably setting you up for some scam or theft of some kind or another. Pickpockets can even be innocent-looking children. It’s a practice of many pickpockets to start their children young in providing for the family.
Any place where tourists are either coming or going, you can almost guarantee that there are pickpockets, thieves and scam artists working the general vicinity day in and day out.
Avoiding crowded areas such as thoroughfares, streets, plazas, piazzas isn’t exactly the answer a traveler wants to hear and isn’t why you flew halfway across the world. You can’t completely isolate yourself from the destination and culture you’ve journeyed so far to see so becoming proactive against theft is necessary.
- Money Belt
- Secured Bags
- Secure Valuables At Hostel Or Hotel
- Situational Awareness
- Electronics Kept Out Of Sight
Being aware of the threats around you is half the battle of staying safe while traveling. Situational awareness is the ultimate tool against thieves and should be practiced vigilantly while traveling through Europe and anywhere else you find yourself in the world.
If you have stories or more tips on how to avoid pickpockets in Europe, please leave them in the comment section below. We love hearing from our readers!!