In the global era of cyber crime, the age-old problem of pickpocketing remains a widespread issue. Most victims don’t report the crimes, but when they do, authorities won’t usually bother to investigate or pursue the perpetrators. Even in your own city, you can find a few thugs swindling tourists and locals alike in crowded areas like the subway.
Some thieves do this for a living. They’ve mastered sleight of hand and use it to prey on unsuspecting victims. You can’t exactly avoid high-traffic areas, especially if you use public transport to go around the city. However, you can protect yourself from pickpockets and prevent a crime from taking place.
Here, you’ll discover common subway scams and pickpocket tips for prevention and protection.
What are the Most Common Subway Scams?
Pickpocketing is still a rampant issue in big cities. Perhaps that’s because scammers are getting more devious. Like lions stalking their prey, petty criminals wait for the perfect moment to pounce. When they do—they usually succeed.
During rush hour, when a train is packed with people, they usually strike right before the doors close. Anyone who’s standing close to the doors with their phone in hand is a likely target. If you place your bag on the shoulder that’s facing the doors, they can easily grab that as well before the train doors close. The moment you realize what happened, the train will already be moving.
Often, these thieves will pretend to be passengers as well. They could be the guy staring at his phone or the girl reading a book. When a lot of people are on board, they can easily intrude on your personal space and slip their hand into your bag or pocket without your knowledge.
How to Avoid Pickpockets in the Subway
Be one step ahead of these street thieves. Take the necessary precautions before you leave your home to prevent pickpockets from targeting you. These pickpocket tips can also protect you when you’ve been marked as a target.
1. Watch out for pickpocket warning signs
These signs won’t always work in your favor. Sometimes, you subconsciously reach for your wallet or smartphone when you come across them. If a thief is nearby, you’ll reveal where you hid your valuables.
2. Use anti-pickpocket devices
Anti-pickpocket devices like slash-resistant bags, smart wallets, or money belts make it more challenging for street thieves to rob you. With the right gear, pickpockets won’t be able to find or snatch your possessions away from you.
3. Wear pickpocket-proof clothing
There are all kinds of pickpocket-proof clothing that travelers and locals alike can use on the subway. For instance, you can put on underwear with zippered pockets , scarves with hidden pouches , and shirts with hidden zippered layers . Place important items inside these compartments so pickpockets will never find them.
Pickpockets may have mastered sleight of hand, but they won’t be able to steal what they can’t find. Hide your valuables in anti-theft clothing like Clever Travel Companion gear to avoid getting pickpocketed at the subway.