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Hand sneaking into frame of photo to steal wallet from bag of unsuspecting tourist
GAYSORN | Adobe Stock

The 10 Places You’re Most Likely to be Pickpocketed

SmarterTravel

When you’re standing among the crowd at some of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment—which unfortunately can make you an easy target for a pickpocket. 

Close up of a person stealing a wallet from an unsuspecting tourist's shoulder bag
Prostock-studio | Adobe Stock

The financial comparison site money.co.uk analyzed TripAdvisor reviews for popular tourist attractions and public transportation stations around the world in order to determine the places you’re most likely to be pickpocketed. 

The study searched reviews for the word “pickpockets” and ranked destinations by number and overall percentage of reviews mentioning pickpockets in order to come up with the list.

The 10 Places You’re Most Likely to be Pickpocketed

Rank Attraction City Country Reviews that mention pickpockets
1 Las Ramblas Barcelona Spain 3,271
2 Eiffel Tower Paris France 2,569
3 Trevi Fountain Rome Italy 2,206
4 Charles Bridge Prague Czech Republic 1,081
5 Sacré-Cœur Paris France 914
6 Colosseum Rome Italy 666
7 Old Town Square Prague Czech Republic 646
8 Louvre Paris France 598
9 Notre-Dame de Paris Paris France 408
10 Sagrada Família Barcelona Spain 407
Money.co.uk

How Can You Avoid Getting Pickpocketed?

Philip Ballard, Chief Communications Officer at HotelPlanner, and former Anti-Terrorism/Force Protection trainer for the Navy, reccomends that travelers keep their guard up when approached by a stranger. “Oftentimes, criminals approach their target with a smile and ask you for directions, or try to engage you in a friendly conversation first,” warns Ballard. “Don’t fall for it if it doesn’t sound or feel right. Just walk away.”

Travelers should also be careful about how they carry their valuables. For women, always carry your purse over your head with the strap across your chest and the purse hanging securely on the side of your waist with your arm over it, says Ballard.” 

Being aware of your surroundings can also deter pickpockets. Keep your hand on your bag or wallet in crowded places (like on public transportation or at popular attractions).

What to Do if You Do Get Pickpocketed

In case you do get pickpocketed despite your best efforts, Ballard recommends carrying an emergency credit card/cash hidden somewhere aside from your main wallet or purse. If you do get robbed (or lose your wallet/bag), you will at least have enough cash to get a taxi back to your hotel. You can buy belts that look like normal belts (not money belts) that have a secret compartment to stash cash. 

Alert your debit/credit card companies that you have been robbed as soon as possible, so they can freeze your card and cancel any unauthorized transactions. You might even be able to get a rush credit card replacement shipped to your hotel so you can continue on with your trip. 

If you have travel insurance, check to see if your policy covers pickpocketing. Faye’s insurance policies, for example, will cover $50 each if your credit cards, passport, or ID is stolen during your trip. Your travel insurance company may also offer resources to help you replace important IDs (like a passport) to help you get home. 

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