Pickpockets Have Found a New Way to Exploit Your Sympathy
With the world being more progressive each passing year, you will always find people raising awareness and fighting against environmental, social, and cultural injustices in the world. You, yourself, may have a cause or two that you’re very passionate about. We applaud you for that.
However, what’s not okay with us are the people who pretend to raise awareness for these causes in hopes of swindling people out of their money. Crooks can be found everywhere and they all have their ways to steal from each person they meet.
Should You Sign Away for Charity?
In this post, we’ll talk about one of the things that pickpockets exploit the most. Since people have a tendency to empathize with others’ plights and seek to do what’s right, pickpockets will try to appeal to your sense of charity.
While visiting a new city, you may see college students or adults petitioning for a certain local cause. They may call you over and ask you to offer your signature for the petition. They’ll explain at length why the cause is so important, and they may also ask about where you’re from to make conversation.
Preoccupied with listening to them, you don’t notice one of their colleagues is already expertly fishing out the valuable contents of your pocket and your bag. Focusing on the clipboard or bending over a table while writing are some situations that leave you vulnerable. Pickpocket proof gear serve as an added layer of security. Pickpocket proof clothing, such as shirts and under garments with secret pockets, will help keep your valuables safe and close to you.
In one of our earlier posts, we discussed how pickpockets are also stealing identities. If you give your signature freely, it makes forgeries easier and especially dangerous with stolen cards.
How Do You Avoid This Scam?
Here’s something we found out. Signing local petitions for the place you’re visiting may not produce the desired outcome in some cases. Since you’re not a local, you wouldn’t have records in the city register, and your signature may not be counted as valid.
If you really want to help a local cause, you can go directly to authorities and ask for more information. They could point you to a local office or officials you can coordinate with. You can even look up the cause online. Online petitions are currently more preferred because you can easily check if they accept signatures from non-residents.
When signing petitions, try not to make lengthy conversations. Real activists and petitioners will have flyers or pamphlets for more information. If interested, just take one and go.
Petitioners may also have a crowd gathering around them. It’s best to keep your valuables as close to your body as possible when going past them on a busy street. Bags and purses are visible targets for pickpockets. Keep your money and other valuables in in clothes that have hidden pockets with zippers, such as this dress and this hoodie.
For more safety tips, continue to The Clever Travel Companion Travel Tips.