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Old 04-20-2016, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
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I thought I always knew how to stay safe and avoid issues with pickpockets and thieves while traveling. However on this last trip to France and visiting Paris I learned that placing rubber bands around your wallet prevents it from being removed easily by a pickpocket.

While the trip guides told our small group about issues and how bad they were in some areas, Paris isn’t much different than other major cities and you have to use caution when in crowded areas. There were three of the 25~30 in the group that came back to the hotel and had their cell phone or Ipad stolen while at the Eiffel Tower taking pictures or calling someone. They become easy targets because of “distractions”. One attractive female with a clipboard was walking around asking for people to help with a survey or another with a charity for children. When dealing with these females and being distracted someone else would quickly and easily take your personal items. Another guy had his wristwatch ripped off his arm when a bicyclist raced by him. Again, he was taking a picture with his cellphone and didn’t see him coming.

Things happen in "any" large city but when you're a tourist you're not watching out for your safety all the time.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Airports all over the world
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When traveling I often carry a decoy wallet. All that is in it will be a few dollars and a low limit credit card. The rest of my cash, cards id's and passport is stashed elsewhere.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:35 PM
 
12,677 posts, read 14,059,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan Mutt View Post
When traveling I often carry a decoy wallet. All that is in it will be a few dollars and a low limit credit card. The rest of my cash, cards id's and passport is stashed elsewhere.
Right, I don't carry a wallet and that solves that problem.
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Old 04-20-2016, 12:44 PM
 
12,253 posts, read 18,390,529 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AksarbeN View Post
Things happen in "any" large city but when you're a tourist you're not watching out for your safety all the time.
Things happen in any large city but Europe in particular seems to have perfected the art of pickpocketing and petty crime like car break-ins and opportunity robberies (where you just lay something down for a second, and next second it's gone) is rampant. No violent crime, but many there will steal everything you own in a blink of an eye.

Basically, when travelling in Europe, leave NOTHING out of site even for a second. Leave nothing in cars, even in the trunk. Wallet goes in front pocket. Purse strapped to front. In public transportation (trains, subways) keep all packages visible at all times.
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Old 04-24-2016, 05:34 AM
 
Location: Portugal
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Sew velcro inside the opening of your pockets = pick pocket problem solved.
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:59 AM
 
9,181 posts, read 9,263,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Things happen in any large city but Europe in particular seems to have perfected the art of pickpocketing and petty crime like car break-ins and opportunity robberies (where you just lay something down for a second, and next second it's gone) is rampant. No violent crime, but many there will steal everything you own in a blink of an eye.

Basically, when travelling in Europe, leave NOTHING out of site even for a second. Leave nothing in cars, even in the trunk. Wallet goes in front pocket. Purse strapped to front. In public transportation (trains, subways) keep all packages visible at all times.
What I have done when in the big cities in Europe is that I put my wallet in my right front pocket. Than I reach into the pocket with my right hand and it literally stays there--on the wallet-- the entire time I am out and about. Anyone see any flaws in this approach? I also have a money belt I wear around my inner waist. I've not had any trouble yet. Well, I have been pursued by prostitutes, but if you walk fast and ignore them, I can't really call that a problem.
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Old 04-24-2016, 12:41 PM
 
Location: Looking over your shoulder
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Exclamation Missing Luggage, yet another issue when traveling

Other issue we had on our trip was luggage being misplaced at the hotel for a long time. I had to personally go outside the hotel to an area where it was left in the rain and unattended by any hotel employees. Our tour guide kept telling me that the hotel was taking care of it and the bags would be taken to the room, however after more than four hours that didn’t happen. Not only were my bags missing for a while several others on the tour totally lost their bags because no one watched them. This was one of the nicer hotels in Paris that had a good reputation for customers, but I wasn’t impressed. Lesson learned – YOU have to keep your eye on your luggage and DON’T trust “anyone” to tell you differently if you want to keep your personal belongings.

Other tourists had missing luggage when transferred from the airport bus onto the River Boat to start their cruise and then again from the boat to the bus to the hotel and then finally back to the airport. Watch your luggage go on and off the buses at all times plus at the hotels. They just don't get it to your room all the time.
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:14 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,226 posts, read 3,005,081 times
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If your luggage is conspicuous, a thief is less likely to risk trying to steal it. When I had a hard side I put stickers on the sides of it. When I bought a soft side with wheels, I bought one with a camo pattern and put conspicuous tags on it.
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Old 04-27-2016, 02:19 AM
 
12,677 posts, read 14,059,781 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dd714 View Post
Things happen in any large city but Europe in particular seems to have perfected the art of pickpocketing and petty crime like car break-ins and opportunity robberies (where you just lay something down for a second, and next second it's gone) is rampant. No violent crime, but many there will steal everything you own in a blink of an eye.
I lived in NYC for more than forty years, and perhaps the gentrification and plasticization of the city have changed the crime pattern now. But the buses and subways were a field day for pickpockets, and there used to be some slick, well-dressed teams that worked the buses during rush hour.

At night it got hairier and purse-snatchers were not necessarily gentle. At teacher of mine who had to travel on the subway through a stretch of bad neighborhood at night was warned by the police to "protect" herself. She did - with an old fashioned, pointed can opener. One night she was attacked, but as she kept the can opener always clutched in her hand, she slashed open the face of her attacker. He was easily picked up because he needed emergency hospital care.

Quote:
Basically, when travelling in Europe, leave NOTHING out of site even for a second. Leave nothing in cars, even in the trunk. Wallet goes in front pocket. Purse strapped to front. In public transportation (trains, subways) keep all packages visible at all times.
Funny! These are the skills I picked up living in the U.S. for sixty-one years. America is the perfect training ground for self-protection.
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:44 AM
 
2,502 posts, read 1,543,879 times
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I was in Paris on vacation several years ago. Incredible city, and I had an amazing time while there - that remains my favorite vacation, and I've been everywhere.

That being said, I couldn't believe how aggressive the panhandlers/pick-pockets were in Paris. I actually had a young woman (a gypsy, I think) actually grab at my arm several times - I think she was trying to get her hands into my pockets (she was unsuccessful).

I noticed three distinctive scams going on in Paris - again, most of the perpetrators were all young female gypsies:

1) The "clip-board" scam - they go around asking for "donations" to a non-existent fund.

2) The "deaf" scam - they will act like they're deaf so you will feel sorry for them & give them money. I don't believe any of them are actually deaf.

3) The "gold ring" scam - one of these gypsies will pretend to pick a gold ring off the ground & then ask if it's yours. I ignored them when this happened.

What I've heard is that if you do act like it's yours, they will give it to you, act as if they're walking away, then come back & ask you for money for the ring. These rings are apparently worthless.

I've read about tours that advertise that you are safer going as a group to foreign cities than you are going alone. I call bull$#$#@ on this! You are NO safer going as a group than you would be on your own in these situations. In fact, I was travelling alone & actually found it easier to remain more alert since I was less distracted by others around me.

And, yes, the rubber-band around your wallet is excellent - this will make it harder for a pick-pocket to slip their wallet out of your pocket.

Note that there are pick-pockets here in the U.S. as well. I live & work in a large metropolitan area, so am always accosted by beggars/panhandlers. So, when I'm out of town on vacation I'm already on "high alert" mode since I'm used to this behavior ahead of time.
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