People are often wary of losing their expensive gadgets and hard-earned cash when heading to crowded tourist spots. An unexpected case of pockets picked may throw off a whole vacation and cause sour moods. What people don’t often realize is that there’s a growing number of smarter pickpockets who are in for the long game. Your wallet of cash and the latest phone is just secondary and the real motive is to steal your identity. How?
These types of pickpockets would often go for objects that contain your personal information. Some examples are wallets with cards and IDs, phones with pictures and emails, or laptops that often contain important documents and saved passwords.
Who are their targets?
Tourists on vacation would often lose track of their spending habits if they’re using a card. So a lost card with a few purchases here and there may not alarm the bank. But sometimes it could take months before anything suspicious is ever found. Suddenly, an out-of-place withdrawal or an online purchase is made with the tourist’s bank account. They may even receive a spoofed phone call asking them to confirm the pin sent to their phone to have their bank account verified.
Locals are even more attractive targets as their social security number is easily used within the country. With a social security number, identity theft of larger proportions is carried out and it may take several months or years before the damage is completely fixed.
Get to know their methods
Like we mentioned earlier, pickpockets are getting smarter. That means they no longer just rely on fast and light finger movements to get what they want from anyone. They use the human brain to their advantage.
One popular trick among pickpockets is the “spilling method.” Pickpockets or their accomplices usually carry food or drinks in their hands while walking carelessly. They will “accidentally” spill their drink or food on a target and excessively apologize while trying to clean the stain off of the victim’s clothes. While they’re trying to clean off the stain, the pickpocket’s other hand is busy doing the real work.
In other cases, the accomplice who spilled their food or drinks on you will just walk away as if nothing happened. This leaves you to look down your shirt and try to clean it off. While you focus on that, the pickpocket grabs your valuables. Pickpocket proof gear helps you keep your valuables safe. An example is this scarf with hidden zipper pockets.
Read through the many travel tips that we have posted here on Clever Travel Companion and familiarize yourself with the different types of distractions that pickpockets use.
Be Pickpocket Proof
Pickpockets are crafty people. The only real way to outsmart them is to make it hard for them to get to your valuables in a short amount of time. Keep your possessions as close to your most sensitive body parts as much as possible. It is highly recommended that these pockets are concealed and zippered, such as this special travel underwear. Browse through Clever Travel Companion to find out how our clever products can help you.
Assassins throughout history use public commotion and spectacles to their advantage. While the entertained crowd is enjoying the festivities, they slip unnoticed and hit their targets. Even public figures were assassinated in public during important events because they were simply out in the open.
Pickpockets certainly learned a thing or two from assassins, which is why the next tactic is one we like to call The Young Assassin. Their diversion tactics are usually over the top because it can give them the highest yield or basically leave a target completely off guard.
The Assassin at Work
Assassin pickpockets use the lure of young street performers. When a crowd gathers around a particularly entertaining performance, pickpockets get busy lifting wallets, pieces of jewelry, watches, and phones from spectators. The performers may or may not be accomplices to the pickpockets.
Some pickpockets will bring the performance to you. Their accomplices that play the part of child or teenage performers will surround you in the street, giving you no easy way out. Some performers may even pick a spectator from the crowd to take part in their performance. A multi-tasking pickpocket sometimes is the performer themselves.
Protecting Yourself from the Assassin
What can you do to avoid losing your valuables in situations like these? Prevention is the key.
- Movements made against bags often go unnoticed. Keep your bag as close to your body as possible and make sure to keep every opening closed and secure.
- Do not keep all your money in one place. You can stash them in pickpocket proof gear containing secret pockets. For instance, you can wear this scarf? while traveling to keep your hands free and your mind at ease.
- If traveling with someone, keep your bags facing each other or watch each other’s belongings as much as you can.
- Wear traveler-friendly clothing lined with secret pockets that are hard to open. The Clever Travel Companion carries the most comfortable and durable 100% pickpocket proof clothes. You can choose from a variety of shirts and dresses, windbreakers, underwear and leggings, or a scarf.
- Politely decline from participating in street performances and avoid watching from a crowded view. Choose a less crowded position or come back later when there are fewer people.
- When street performances are unavoidable, make a mental note of your possessions. Keep your arms and hands as close to your body or your bag as possible without being obvious.
- Keep calm when traveling. A nervous traveler usually has too much on their mind and cannot focus on their surroundings. A relaxed traveler, however, can easily notice small details and can easily feel slight touches made against them.
The Clever Travel Companion
Most travelers, with no option but to move hands-free, find it difficult to guard their valuables. That is why we, at the Clever Travel Companion, expanded our collection from underwear with secret pockets to clothes that are smartly lined with secret compartments. The designs are so simple and neat to avoid calling attention to the wearer. No one but the wearer would know what they are carrying. If you want to check out which clothes best suit your needs and lifestyle, check the shop now.
Have you ever lost a wallet to a thief while traveling? Although most pickpocketing schemes aren’t serious crimes, losing valuables like your credit cards or passport when you’re in a foreign country can be devastating. If you aren’t careful enough, you’ll have to look for alternative ways to access cash.
An unfortunate encounter with a pickpocket can ruin your vacation. The best thing you can do to prevent that from happening is to protect yourself from these petty criminals. Learn about common schemes and arm yourself with pickpocket-proof gear.
Breaking Down the Slash, Grab, and Run Scheme
Some pickpockets prefer to be discreet. They slip their hand in your bag, grab your wallet, and move on to the next victim. Others go to certain lengths to keep their targets distracted, making it easier for a partner to slip their hand inside your bag without you noticing.
There are also thieves who don’t bother to be stealthy at all. They slash bags using a knife, grab your valuables quickly, and run. At times, these petty thieves steal entire travel bags like fanny packs and purses. Pickpockets cut the straps to ensure you don’t have time to fight back.
Often, slash-and-grab scheme s are quite serious, especially when motorcycles are involved. They can cut your bag’s straps, easily get their hands on your valuables, and flee the scene in mere minutes.
Bag slashing might not be the most common pickpocketing scheme, but you still have to take necessary precautions to prevent it from happening.
How to Pickpocket-Proof Yourself
Protecting yourself from petty criminals isn’t as hard as it seems. Here are some precautions you need to remember to reduce the chances of getting pickpocketed:
1. Avoid fanny packs
Many assume that a fanny pack is a safe place where you can store your valuables—but it’s not. Thieves can easily slash its strap and get away with your money or travel documents.
2. Use a money belt
Walk the streets with more confidence by stashing your cash and cards in money belts. These anti-theft accessories have a small, zippered pouch which holds your valuables. This pouch can easily be concealed, and they are also easy to access when you need something.
3. Get an anti-theft travel backpack
Pickpockets love to target people with backpacks. That’s because it is harder for the wearer to tell if someone’s slipped their hand into the bag to steal your valuables. You can use shoulder or messenger bags instead. However, if you prefer backpacks and aren’t comfortable with other kinds, you can upgrade it to a theft-proof bag with anti-slash material and hidden pockets.
Don’t assume that thieves are all sketchy looking men. Many of them pretend to be a person with a disability or a volunteer for a charity organization, so never let your guard down. Never give them an opportunity to strike. Always be on the alert, and store your valuables in anti-theft accessories like the Clever Travel Companion to outsmart the thieves.
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