The idea for this post came from my trip to Lisbon. Seriously minutes after getting into the city I saw someone try to pickpocket a couple. After telling the story in the hostel, there were others that said they either saw, heard, or were pickpocketed. From the ones that I saw it was people doing things that can easily be changed so that a person can’t! I realize things happen and we forget, but there are ways to avoid getting pickpocketed.
Keep your purse in front of you
If you carry a purse, a great way to avoid getting pickpocketed is to have a purse that closes and keep it in front of you. Also have your hand over the zipper or over the closer. One woman I saw that was getting pickpocketed had her purse behind her and her phone was visible from the side pocket!
Put things in your front pocket instead of the back
This way you would notice if someone put their hand in your pocket.
Lock backpacks or keep them in front
Locking your backpack is a good option. By the time they are able to get the lock off (if they can) you would notice someone trying to get in it. If you don’t have a lock you can wear it on the front.
Be aware of your surroundings
They people I saw that were getting pickpocketed were completely unaware of their surroundings. Either looking at maps and at their phones. Standing in the middle of sidewalks are other places making it easy for them to be targeted. A lot of times pickpockets are dressed as tourists. I saw one with a backpack and a map, but I noticed he kept following a couple as they were walking. When he tried to get in her backpack it was locked. But the couple had no idea the man was following them very closely. Just be aware! I think this is the number one way to avoid getting pickpocketed.
As always, don’t let the fear of pickpockets scare you out of traveling. They are really physically harmless and it’s sad that it is the way they live.
What do you do to avoid pickpocketing?