How to avoid pickpockets

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Pickpockets are sneaky, smart and can rob you in the blink of an eye.
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Keep your belongings yours by knowing how to avoid pickpockets.

Pickpockets can attack anyone at any time and any place. Many people believe that pickpockets only prey on tourists. In actuality, pickpockets target anyone they see as an easy target, no matter where you are from. Pickpockets are sneaky, smart and sometimes use man's goodwill towards others against him.

So that you don't become a victim, you should know how to avoid pickpockets. Along with certain behaviors and tactics to keep watch for, there is security apparel sold by retailers specializing in unique merchandise for travelers that you can wear to keep your belongs safe.

Whether you are just walking to work or strolling your vacation destination, it is best to always be aware of your surroundings and those in it. Just about anyone can pull off the art of pickpocketing--even children. Kids can be taught at a young age to secretly reach into a purse or pocket; therefore, be aware of anyone who comes near you. Women will often prey on men and use their appearance as a means of distraction. Some women pickpockets will act as if they are in distress and need the assistance of a man, only to steal his wallet.

Groups of people are another sign to watch out for, as many pickpockets will work together to attack a victim. For example, one pickpocket may "accidentally" trip you, while another steals your wallet as he is helping you up and hands it to a third thief who walks away. Some pickpockets will stop and ask you for directions, distracting you while stealing your purse, wallet or packages.

Tourists - always potential targets - should be especially aware of their surroundings. Pickpockets prey on tourists because they are less familiar with the area and often distracted by sites and attractions. Many tourists will enter seedy areas without even knowing it. In addition, because tourists are in a different and often relaxing, environment, they don't always have their guard up. Therefore, the next time you go on vacation, be sure to know exactly where you are and who is around you and avoid unsafe areas.

When out and about, use special apparel, uniquely designed slim wallets and purses to safeguard your important items. Avoid placing your wallet in your back pocket. The back pocket is a prime target area for pickpockets, as they can plainly see what is in the pocket, while you aren't always aware of their presence. Try placing your wallet in the front pocket. Most wallets aren't designed to comfortably fit in front pockets; use a wallet that does. Front pocket wallets are shaped just like a pocket -- curved on one side and straight on the other -- to fit snug and comfortably in your front pocket.

Separate your money, credit cards and traveler's checks between your wallet, briefcase and money belt. That way, if you do become a pickpocket's victim, you won't lose everything. Wearing a security bandolier or a soft belly bag helps keep your personal belongings close to you and away from pickpockets. A security bandolier is worn over your shoulder and sits close to your chest. It discreetly holds wallets, cell phones and other valuables and allows you to have complete control and vision of their whereabouts at all times. A belly bag secures your cash, credit cards and other small valuables out of reach of pickpockets. 

Knowing how to avoid pickpockets is your first defense against sneaky thieves and can prevent you from becoming their next victim.

References: How to Avoid Pickpockets How to Avoid Becoming Pickpocket Prey

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