OZZI Global Safety

6 tips to avoid pickpockets worldwide

No one wants their valuables stolen while they are shopping or traveling. It can happen in just an instant and without us even knowing. The bad news is that pickpockets are a worldwide problem. The good news is there are things you can do to avoid pickpockets and keep your things safe. Check out these six tips to avoid pickpockets.

Trust Your Instincts

First and foremost, trust yourself and your instincts. Keep an eye on anyone who looks suspicious and do not accept any items from strangers. Be mindful of people who seem to hover around you in public places or at crowded events. If you feel uncomfortable, report the incident to security or seek assistance from the police.

Know Where You are Going

We know that being alert at all times can be exhausting – especially when you are just trying to have a nice vacation. That’s why we built SafetyMaps. Down to the exact street corner, OZZI tells which areas are known for pickpocketing. So, when you leave the hotel or vacation rental you can take steps to prepare before arriving in an OZZI Safety Zone. You will not have to watch your phone like a hawk either. OZZI will send you a real-time alert if you set even one foot in these zones, and give you specific advice on how to stay safe.

Avoiding Showing Expensive Items

Pickpockets often target travelers who look like they might have money. Anything that looks valuable should be kept out of sight. By maintaining a low profile, you attract less attention from pickpockets. We suggest keeping your phone out of your back pocket and zipped up safely. It is best to keep wallets and purses zipped securely and carry only small amounts of cash for shopping or dining. When considering a wallet or purse for the day only take what is necessary and store any extra credit / debit cards securely in your room.

Choose the Right Bag

If you need your expensive gear while exploring, be sure to choose the right bag. Great anti-theft features can be found in most modern bags that feel natural and comfortable to wear all day. Locking zippers, cut-resistant materials, and hidden pockets can make you less of a target for pickpockets.

If you do not have an anti-theft bag, be sure to use the zipper or clasp closures on your belongings and keep it close to you when in crowded areas. Rather than hanging bags loosely over your shoulder, carry them across the chest so that you can feel if someone tries to take something from it without your permission.

Pro Tip: Make sure all your anti-theft solutions are TSA compliant to avoid damage to your belongings at the airport.

High Tech Pickpockets

If you had a passport or credit card issued to you in the last couple of years, there is a chance you are using RFID enabled technology. Radio-frequency identification (RFID) uses electromagnetic fields to automatically identify and track tags attached to objects. RFID cards and passports contain information that can easily be stolen by criminals for identity theft purposes. Criminals using scanning devices – while your ID or card is still in your pocket – can steal your personal and financial details without even touching you. You can protect your high-tech IDs and cards with RFID blocking wallets or purses.

Copy Important Documents

If you find yourself on the wrong end of a pickpocket, it is important to be identifiable – especially in a foreign country. So, be sure to make copies of identification cards or other important documents. If the originals are lost or stolen during travel for any reason, having backups will save you time and hassle. We also recommend keeping copies and originals in separate locations to avoid losing both at the same time. The easiest way to make a digital copy is to take a picture with your smartphone. For physical copies, a printer / scanner will work well.

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With physical and virtual ways to steal, pickpockets are trying to stay ahead of the unsuspecting traveler. By following these simple steps, you can protect yourself from having your stuff or your identity stolen while traveling!

Subscribe to OZZI Travel Safety to help you avoid pickpockets and crime on your next adventure.

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