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.