The Clever Travel Companion Updates

Textbook Pickpocket Manoeuvre Leaves Grandmother $2650 Out of Pocket October 21 2017, 0 Comments

The video below captures the moment two professional pickpockets carried out their grubby work on an unsuspecting victim, in this case a 69 year old grandmother whom the pickpockets had identified at a local bank and subsequently pursued after she'd made a substantial withdrawal.

 

Kantaben Ashani, 69, a retired cleaner, was buying radishes in Kingsbury, North London when the thief reached into her bag to lift envelope of cash.  Ms Ashani, who had withdrawn the cash to pay for Diwali gifts for her family, said she believes she had been tailed by the thief after withdrawing the money from a nearby Nationwide bank. 

She discovered the theft moments later when attempting to pay for her groceries at the till.    'I saw the women but thought they were just shopping. I started crying at the till, I couldn't stop talking and crying. It's the first time I've carried this much money,' said Ms Ashani, according to the Evening Standard.  'I get flashbacks every time I go to the shop. I'm praying to God that they don't do that to anyone else.'

The theft was caught on camera by local resident Suryakant Jadva and quickly shared on Twitter. Ms Ashani added that she would struggle to give presents to her loved ones for Diwali, the festival of light which started on Thursday.  'One of our rituals is that we give money to our grandchildren — it's like Christmas, lots of presents. Now the money's gone Diwali will be a bit of a financial strain.'  The Metropolitan police confirmed it was investigating.

DON'T BE A VICTIM!

Pickpockets are unfortunately not going away. There will always be people out there with unpleasant intentions and a disregard for other people, whether they turn that into a profession or not, they still exist. We hear about stories like the above everyday and although this particular crime was committed in the victims local area, tourists and non-locals are the #1 victims around the world. The probability of being targeted as a holidaymaker soars in comparison to locals. 

Having said that, nobody on vacation wants to spend their trip scared or worried. The Clever Travel Companion offers solutions! Solutions like our pickpocket proof scarf and ladies pickpocket proof leggings!


Bus Pickpocket Caught In Action August 29 2017, 0 Comments

If you're a fan of Clever Travel Companion, you'll be more than aware of the methods pickpockets use to get their grubby paws on victims valuables, even if you're new to this site, you probably have some idea of how they go about their business but how many of us can say we've actually spotted them in action? Well the below CCTV footage from China captures a perfect example of a slippery, albeit clumsy thief in action - as did the bus driver... 


 

As you can see from the video, the thief identifies his victim and his target early, realizing that she has multiple open bags, is rushing for a bus and will at some point become vulnerable. The one thing he didn't count on was the bus driver spotting him. However, consider the bus driver not being there, it is clear the victim has no idea what has happened despite realizing she and the thief have come into contact. She's probably more concerned about getting on the right bus and paying for a ticket - the pickpocket on the other hand probably plans to pretend he has boarding the wrong bus by mistake and will make a quick getaway once the victim is safely aboard, doors are closed and the bus is driving away, as is common with public transport robbery methods.

Watching the video it becomes easy to see how pickpocketing is still a major crime and people are still not only getting away with it but making a darn good living out of doing so! Check out the gang who made over 1million Euros targeting Disneyland families. In the above China case, the victim was lucky she had a helping hand and her thief was clumsy but let's be honest, it's probably not the first time he's done it and it wont be the last. I'm sure there are many women boarding buses and reaching for their phones that are no longer there thanks to this guy and many more pickpockets. The scary thing is, how many of us can relate to being in this situation? Panicking about getting on the right bus or train or plane even, focusing on getting a ticket bought and paid for whilst everyone is bustling to do the same? Is it worth losing your phone, passport, cash, cards or something more valuable over? No way. 

So how do we prevent the above happening? Well if you're on this website, you'll know that we advocate Clever Travel Companion's 100% pickpocket proof gear for this. Just imagine if the victim in the video had put her phone in one of CTC's Leggings secret pockets? The thief would have had no chance.   

But that's not all you can do. Make sure you don't have open bags and look like you're in a hurry, stay very aware of your surroundings and who might be watching you or approaching you. 


Travel Safety Tips August 10 2017, 0 Comments

Everyone is aware of the danger pickpockets and thieves pose and how that danger is especially exacerbated when it comes to tourists and travelers. The consequences are greater for the victim and the theft itself has a higher success rate for the perpetrator. At Clever Travel Companion, our mission is to ensure travelers avoid the common pitfalls of not only theft and travel themselves but also the confusing number of safety options to consider as preparation, so that you can enjoy your adventure hassle free. 

We've compiled a comprehensive guide on complete travel safety covering everything from what to look out for, where to expect it, what to do if you do become a victim to how to avoid becoming one altogether.

We're going to look at some of the way pickpockets go about making their living off of innocent victims. In the below video, a reported from Travel + Escape spends a day with some professional pickpockets and learns how they go about making their living.

It is true that some of their methods are rudimentary and relatively basic but as mentioned, these guys make their living this way. Make no mistake, they are absolute professionals in their trade and can earn huge amounts of money, sometimes over $10,000 per day. So you see, it pays to get good at their trade.

Naturally there are a number of ways to protect yourself in such situations and tons of products on the market that claim to be 100% pickpocket proof. We personally believe a simple approach of remaining vigilant and not making an obvious target of yourself is a good start but concealed, secure, zipper pockets in places pickpockets wouldn't expect are a great way to keep the most valuable of valuables out of harms way. We'll look into this more further down.

Whilst pilfering peoples pockets on public transport is the most obvious and probably most basic method of pickpocketing, it can also be the most risky and perhaps least successful, especially for someone not so skilled. Of course, for such great earning potential, this has lead thieves to develop a huge number of different methods for relieving their victims of their hard earned valuables in all situations. Lets take a look at some of the most common below.

The above scams are prevalent worldwide despite being known as common in the regions mentioned, and are likely to target tourists and travelers only whilst they go about their vacation, sight seeing, walking, visiting landmarks etc... They can also take on a number of different forms and can be carried out by anyone. Be vigilant, thieves often operate in gangs and want to appear as non-suspicious as physically possible so don't assume that because your suspect is a child or elderly that they're not out to rob you.

Public transport theft

Public transport is a pickpockets playground. As you've seen in the above video, they dream of bustling train platforms and cramped carriages, busy buses and confused tourists. That doesn't mean to say you're safe in a private taxi, tuk tuk or at the airport though, some thieves are precisely the kinds of people you're forced to trust like taxi drivers - and when we say thieves, we don't just mean they'll have your iPhone out of your pocket. They can rob you in other ways, like incredibly over charged taxi fares.

This article on statistics for theft in London stands to prove the above point. The number #1 location by a long way is the London Underground.



You may also find yourself vulnerable to getting ripped off or robbed when simply shopping or using local services. These kinds of scams are more likely to indirectly leave you out of pocket than an actual thief helping himself to your your valuables but nonetheless, they are worthy of being aware of. They're also probably the most likely to catch you.



It probably goes without saying that as a tourist, you're not likely to be targeted by other tourists (although it has happened). Certain groups of up to no good locals can be found in every city in the world and are by no measure a representation of the rest of the city - but they do exist and they will target travelers. Europe's freedom of movement immigration policy has also made it very easy for people from lower income regions to go to popular tourist destinations and target locals and tourists alike so make yourself aware and knowledgeable of what you might expect. Be vigilant and be suspicious of over friendliness. There's no need to be grumpy or rude, but don't make yourself vulnerable either.



Accommodation is another area you might find yourself a victim. It's even been known for hotels booking online or over the phone to not exist at all! There have also been reported incidents of reception providing a room key on request to anyone claiming to be staying there. Be wary of any strange activity and always confirm details of room calls, advertisements, local companies and more with the front desk. Check up independent reviews of not just the hotel itself prior to visiting but also the area. Don't leave valuables lying around in your room and don't always trust safety deposit boxes, make sure you have a back up solution to hiding your personal items.