Travel expert shares where pickpockets target tourists

Pickpockets often target tourists as they may be carrying valuables or documents such as their passport.

Although sometimes it’s impossible to prevent, there are a few things that tourists can do to lessen the chances of being a target.

Arran Rice, founder of EarthCurious, shared his top tips to avoid some common scams that often catch out tourists.

From overly friendly locals to ‘closed’ tourist attractions, there are a few things tourists will need to watch out for.

Although tourists could be the victim of theft anywhere, there are also a few places where they’re more likely to be targeted.

Avoid busy areas

Tourists are most likely to be the victim of a pickpocket in a busy area where they can be easily distracted.

Thieves will often target tourists on busy trains and at public transport stations. A thief may pretend to bump into a tourist and rob them while doing so.

Arran said: “Leave any unnecessary valuables behind or keep them safe in a pouch around your waist, or find a less busy alternative travel route.”

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Be wary of friendly locals

Another common scam used by pickpockets is to pretend to make friends with unsuspecting holidaymakers.

Tourists may be offered a braided friendship bracelet, a sprig of rosemary or a necklace. However, this isn’t free and tourists will be expected to pay for the item even if they didn’t want it.

Arran said: “Be wary if someone suddenly starts speaking to you and walk away if they offer you something or try to get you to go into their shop.”

‘Closed’ attractions

Scammers may also try to tell tourists that a popular attraction is closed so they can divert them to a friend’s business instead.

Arran said tourists should just ignore them and walk away from the situation. Scammers may also try to claim that a hotel is closed. 

Tourists should make sure they go to the accommodation they’ve booked and can ring the hotel if they are concerned. 

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