As we approach the busy travel season in Europe, one of the things that people worry about is getting scammed in one way or another.
Unfortunately, although violent crime is rare, pickpockets in cities such as Paris and Rome tend to be very active and it seems that the authorities do little to combat them.
Fortunately, you can take some basic precautions that will minimize your exposure. Just a few are:
1. Do not wear flashy jewelry…leave that back home.
2. Use cross-body straps on purses, camera cases, etc. so that even if your hands are occupied you won’t present an opportunity for a thief.
3. If you see a disturbance on the street, keep walking. These can be staged events designed to distract you while someone helps themselves to your wallet or purse.
4. If someone approaches you with a “lost” ring or other valuable, ignore them and keep on walking. Again, this is designed to distract you and is one of the more popular methods of taking your belongings.
5. Do not open your wallet in public, and never allow anyone to help you at an ATM machine.
6. Keep your money (and credit cards) in more than one place…if you do become a victim you won’t lose everything at once. Use a money belt for walking around.
7. Leave your passport in the hotel safe.
8. Use old, beat-up luggage. Using flashy, expensive luggage is asking for trouble. Same applies to backpacks. Let’s face it, if you are a thief you are going to go where the money is!
So, have we scared you? Hopefully not…..we hope we have assuaged any fears you might have. Taking a few precautions mean that you are much likely to become a victim.