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.