How to Avoid Pickpockets in Europe

Old Jun 13th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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How to Avoid Pickpockets in Europe

The recent spate of threads about being robbed in Barcelona makes it a good idea to post the following guidelines on how to avoid getting pickpocketed - wherever you're traveling. Many thieves are professionals and the robbery takes place in seconds, but take these precautions and the chances are very good that you will not get pickpocketed.

These guidelines come from the Barcelona Yellow Pages and City Guide, because as the article states: If there were Olympic medals for pickpocket and bag-snatching schemes, then Barcelona would win the gold. Nevertheless, these guidelines would work anywhere in the world.

http://www.barcelonayellow.com/bcn-t...elona-top-tips

Wishing you all happy and safe travels!
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 08:33 AM
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>

All those threads were from the same person.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 08:34 AM
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Advice applicable throughout the world. Europe does not have exclusive rights to pickpockets and muggers .
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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My recommendation is always to wear a money belt under your clothes. My sister had just given me her debit card and her passport to put in my money belt when her purse was stolen in a restaurant by a thief pretending to be a waiter. She did lose a good camera, but not vital items.

In the train to Montserrat a woman attempted to steal my purse, which was on the floor between my leg and the train wall--in contact with my leg. I felt the purse strap move and immediately knew what was up. I'm always careful, but especially in Barcelona.

I don't dress like a tourist, but one look at my face tells you that I'm not Spanish. My Irish and Danish forebears give me away.

Both these events happened in Barcelona, by the way.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 08:59 AM
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Just got back from Italy.

Not as much pickpocketing as panhandling. Old gypsy women going around with cups, even going up to some diners sitting at an outdoor table in Venice. Or African guys standing in a busy street with their cap out.

I'm sure there are still pickpockets in Italy but seems more panhandling than before. Who knows, maybe they're having better luck panhandling than pickpocketing.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 09:47 AM
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The same way you avoid them anyplace else:

1) never let go of your belongings
2) be aware of what is going on around you
3) dont; be "nice" to random strangers asking questions while the partner picks your pocket or slits your knapsack

More than 90 trips to europe and never a problem. (Although I lost a pair of sunglasses in Switz, which I think some people here would consider theft - or the fault of the outdoor cafe on the table of which I accidentally left them.)

Caveat: I'm a native New Yorker and a lot of thigns that seem bvious to me are apparently a mystery to some other travelers.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 09:49 AM
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Something that seldom is mentioned is a bra wallet. Now your passport won't fit in there but it is a good place to carry a spare credit/ATM card and a few bills of the local currency (or your home currency) for emergencies.

No one is interested in going after my bra wallet (sob).
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 10:54 AM
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Be cautious and sensible, just as you would be at home, but not overcautious. If you wear A shoulder bag closely gripped under your arm, or keep it in your lap with one hand over it while eating... You are just indicating it's valuable, and you are afraid of being robbed... Which will make you a target.

On the other hand, if you leave your passport at the hotel, you won't be ableto use your credit cards. Shops are required to ask you for a passport or ID card with photo in order to pay by credit card.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 10:56 AM
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Even a couple of credit cards and some cash wouldn't do much for my measurements.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 11:19 AM
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How to Avoid Pickpockets in Europe

There's only one guaranteed way - don't go to Europe, get pickpocketed in New York or Hawaii instead.

But who is stupid enough to go from "pickpocketed in Barcelona" to "pickpocketed in Europe" as if Europe was one large Barcelona.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Agosto: "On the other hand, if you leave your passport at the hotel, you won't be ableto use your credit cards. Shops are required to ask you for a passport or ID card with photo in order to pay by credit card."

That doesn't makes sense. Millions of people use credit cards every day in Europe and the VAST majority won't be carrying their passports, and chip/pin credit card users don't need any sort of ID. What country are talking about? Or do you just mean if one is doing tax free shopping (VAT refund scheme)?
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 11:30 AM
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"On the other hand, if you leave your passport at the hotel, you won't be ableto use your credit cards. Shops are required to ask you for a passport or ID card with photo in order to pay by credit card."

Huh? What country are you talking about?
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 11:42 AM
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Agosto as indicated above is wrong. It is possible they will ask for your passport and number one precaution is don't walk around with your passport. I believe once I was asked and I used my card alot and the photocopy I had with worked just fine. I don't care what country it is don't walk around with your passport.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 11:47 AM
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I don't leave my hotel room when I am in Europe. A hotel with a nice view is therefore essential. And an indoor pool.

Caveat - being Canadian, we are used to doing this all winter long.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 12:13 PM
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"On the other hand, if you leave your passport at the hotel, you won't be ableto use your credit cards. Shops are required to ask you for a passport or ID card with photo in order to pay by credit card."

Where?
I NEVER carry my passport and have been able to use my credit cards from Stockholm to Barcelona...Berlin to Venice , Prague to Amsterdam etc.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Leaving the passport in the hotelroom does not work very well if you are staying in a hostel with a shared dorm room, unless they have lockable boxes for valuables.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 12:24 PM
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....we live in a very safe city, but like nytraveler said,
one only has to use common sense when traveling ( and at home).

I admit,I once left a scarf in a Berlin restaurant and someone took it .
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 12:31 PM
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I've wondered if the robbed in Barcelona guy was on his phone at the time. I think he said something about looking up.

Be present where you are. If you don't like the look of someone who has approached you, step aside, ignore them.
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 01:30 PM
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When a pickpocket is scanning the crowd, looking for a mark, I am quickly discounted: how could anybody dressed as I do possibly have anything worth stealing?
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Old Jun 13th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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I got a ticket in the Czech Republic for not having my passport with me. I only had a copy.
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