• 3 ways to keep pickpockets at bay

    2014-03-06

    Spring break proves to be one of the most exciting travel weeks for younger people around the globe, whether high school friends are spending the week on the beach or college students are traveling internationally. However, the spoils of this popular travel time aren't limited to younger demographics, as there is another group that thrives during this time of the year: pickpockets.

    Praying on distracted individuals, these petty thieves can cause travelers serious headaches, whether they're swiping cash or pillaging passports. While there is no way to prevent these attacks, there are ways in which tourists can avoid common tactics employed by criminals: 

    Stay away from overcrowded areas
    Pickpockets thrive in dense spots, whether they're lurking on the subway or passing through crowds in front of monuments. Areas that feature large numbers of people are perfect breeding grounds, as thieves can not only quickly disappear, but they can swiftly lift objects by bumping into tourists. While walking through crowds can sometimes be unavoidable - especially when you're traveling during a popular timeframe - there are ways in which tourists can ensure their valuables are not lost to pickpockets. Penn State News suggests that voyagers always keep an eye on valuables when traveling in crowds, recommending that ladies keep their purses in front of them at all times while men move their wallets to their front pockets.

    Don't be easily distracted
    Much like parents who purchase shiny objects to draw their children's attention, pickpockets employ diversionary tactics in order to trick travelers. These plans can be as simple as asking a visitor for the time, but they can also become incredibly complex - such as thieves who ask visitors to hold infants, then trust that the victim will choose keeping the baby safe over protecting their valuables. Pickpockets frequently work in groups, with one person acting as the distraction while others commit the act. Tourists should be wary of these approaches when traveling.

    Try not to draw attention to your valuables
    Thrillist recently interviewed some of the world's sneakiest thieves and found that they can easily get targets to reveal the exact location of their most prized possessions. According to the source, some lurk near signs that indicate the area is a heavily pickpocketed area. By lingering near these warnings, crooks have the best seat for picking their targets. Since visitors feel compelled to physically check for their belongings after passing these signs, pickpockets can easily see exactly where items are held.

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