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Tell Me The Truth -- Barcelona Pickpockets/Scams

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Don't bash me--- this is a real question.

I've traveled alot to Europe in the past, but I haven't gone for a few years. I have been almost pickpocketed (politely) in Rome (smiled and waved them away). Almost pickpocketed (politely) in Paris by gypsies (smiled and waved them away). Friend was almost "gamed" by the Sacre Coeur (she stuck her finger out and a Nigerian placed a string around her finger, it was very strange). So, I get it. I understand how to be careful, etc. I *think* I know what to look for. I used to live in the Tenderloin in SF, for goodness sakes.

However, the more I read about Barcelona, the more I'm finding advice that I may be:

- brutally bumped around, knocked over in order to get pickpocketed (Disboards)
- get stuff dumped on me so that people will pretend to clean it off (Tom's Port Guide)
- young children will pull on me and their accomplices will pickpocket me (Rick Steves)
- I should get lash-guard safe camera straps to avoid being robbed (but what about my neck? how I would lash guard my neck? lol)

Is that all true? How much of the above is just "internet" advice versus real life in Barcelona.

I am going with a group of young and old. We will be targeted, I have absolutely no doubt. But how much of it will be polite pickpocketing/opportunistic stealing (which I'm used to) versus I need to make sure my 65 YO father doesn't get brutally knocked over while he is taking pictures with his DSLR?

Thanks.

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