6 Ways To Avoid Falling Prey To Pickpocketers

pickpocketing tips

Unsplash/Cris Tagupa

Your parents probably wore one of those money belts that go under your clothes when they went to Europe. But in 2018, you don’t need to go to all that trouble. Money belts are awkward to get your stuff in and out of when you need to pay for something and, honestly, if you live in a big city in the United States, it’s a little much to think that a big city elsewhere in the world is going to be that different. But pickpockets are out there, from New York City to New Delhi. So here’s how to keep your stuff safe without going overboard with the paranoia.

1. Use a bag with zippers.

When you’re carrying a purse or backpack, make sure it can zip closed. It’s much more difficult to reach inside a bag of an unwitting owner if you have to undo multiple zippers. It’s ideal if you can keep your wallet and passport and anything else important inside a zipper pocket inside a zippered bag.

2. Carry over-the-shoulder bags.

Straps that go over your shoulder and across your body can’t be yanked straight off you. Whenever possible, carry purses that don’t hang only on one shoulder. Backpacks also accomplish the same thing.

pickpocketing tips

Unsplash/Angel Ghaida

3. Keep your valuables in inside pockets.

The easier it is for you to grab your passport or wallet, the easier it is for a pickpocket to find them as well. Inside pockets are your best friend.

4. Don’t keep anything in back pockets.

What’s not a good plan? Keeping anything in the back pocket of your jeans. That’s the easiest target out there. Same goes for the pockets of your coat — unless you have zippers.

pickpocketing tips

Unsplash/Jack Gisel

5. Bring a zipper lock when you’re carrying valuables.

When you are carrying a lot of valuables (laptop, camera, etc), it helps to have a small lock to lock the zippers of your bag together. But this plan only works if you won’t need to access the inside of your bag until you’re at your hotel or somewhere quiet where you can dig out a key.

6. Watch out in crowds.

Pickpockets love a crowd. They can blend in and disappear as soon as they steal your things. So be extra vigilant when you’re in crowded spaces and keep an eye on your bags.


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