1. KNOW WHAT TO LOOKOUT FOR
Pickpockets come in all disguises; many are very well dressed and groomed.
2. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS
Pickpockets usually survey their targets. If someone is following you, move to a more secure location. Swarmed by a group of children? Run and shout!
3. BE AWARE
Be aware of loud arguments, bumps and other incidents. Pickpockets usually work in teams and will often create a commotion to distract the victim so a partner can pick a pocket or two.
4. PAY ATTENTION TO SIGNS
Pickpockets frequent bus and train stations, airports, hotel lobbies, outdoor festivals, subways and other crowded places. If you see a sign, ‘Beware of Pickpockets’, don’t reveal your wallet’s location by touching it.
5. WHAT TO WEAR
Wear clothing with pockets that offer peace of mind… ones that are closed with ‘noisy’ Velcro or zippers, or best of all are completely hidden. Tilley offers secure, secret and stop-loss pockets on most garments.
6. DON’T OVERDRESS
Be unassuming in your choice of clothing, luggage and camera case. Leave the expensive jewelry and watch at home.
7. SEPARATE YOUR ITEMS
Carry hotel key and car keys separately from your bag or purse. Do not carry all your cash and credit cards in one pocket. Carry only enough money for the day’s adventures, divided up in secure pockets. Avoid putting your wallet or passport in a back pocket.
8. LESS IS MORE
Travel as lightly as possible. Being overburdened with luggage makes you more of a target.
9. KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING
Walk with a purpose, never look vulnerable or lost. Do not leave purses, handbags or backpacks unattended.
10. MAKE COPIES
Photocopy your passport, credit cards and driver’s license. Leave one copy with a friend; carry another in your secret pocket.
11. KEEP TO YOURSELF
During your trip, do not give out information about your destinations, valuables or itinerary to people who do not need it – desk clerks, doormen or taxi drivers.
12. IT’S WORTH THE EXTRA
For a small fee, many airports will shrink-wrap your luggage or bag in plastic. This helps prevent tampering and theft at the airport or even in taxis, and saves wear and tear on your luggage.
13. IF VICTIMIZED
Report the incident to the appropriate officials. In the case of a stolen passport or visa, contact your embassy.