Pickpockets exist in every major city in the world. Unfortunately, Rome is no exception. Here are a few rules of wisdom to help you avoid falling victim to thieves while on holiday.
1) Pickpockets choose easy victims! If you appear to be careful and attentive of your surroundings and do not carry valuable items on you, you are less likely to be a victim.
2) Pickpockets often work in groups! Pickpockets are good at their job and try to create situations that capture your attention to shift the focus you have on your belongings. When confronted by a group of people, abide by the golden rule: DON’T TALK TO STRANGERS! Simply, turn your back and walk away.
3) Carry with you only what is needed! Only keep on you the necessary money and items you need for the day. Leave passports and other valuables in the locked apartment you have rented. Any money or personal items you have on you while you are out and about, keep them in closed pockets. It is even a good idea to keep important things in various pockets so you run less risk of losing everything if you are a victim.
4) Don’t carry a backpack on your back! This is especially important in the underground. Pickpockets are good at reaching into a backpack without you even knowing it! It is best to keep everything you have in front of you and securely close of pockets, bags and purses at all time!
5) Don’t wear a camera or video camera around your neck! It is easy for someone to grab something from around your neck and run off. Anything of value should be kept in a closed pocket or in a closed bag that is carried in front of you.
Keep things of value like your apartment keys, identification, and wallets in separate pockets so if you are a victim you do not risk losing everything!
6) Don’t be overly obvious you are a tourist! It is already easy enough to spot a tourist, do not make a pickpocket’s job easier. If you need to refer to a map, go off from a major street or step inside a bar and always be attentive of your surroundings.
7) Always keep under close watch your bags, purses, etc! Especially when you are dining in a restaurant or at a bar, never lose sight of your items and try to avoid leaving items on the floor where it would be easy for a passer-by to grab them and run.
8) Be careful when watching street performers! Oftentimes, these situations offer a prime location for pickpockets because it is easy for people to be distracted. Keep pockets closed and keep bags and purses in front of you.
9) Train stations offer another great arena for pickpockets!
a) People who are at the train station are obvious tourists and are likely to be carrying all of their possessions on them. For a pickpocket, this is one-stop shopping!
b) It is easy to be dis-oriented and distracted in a train station. Always be on alert.
c) Be aware of people who press against you as they are likely trying to pickpocket.
d) When purchasing your tickets and pull out your wallet, be careful of your surroundings as they will be watching where you put your wallet. It is best to buy your ticket in advance or enter the station with the money already set aside in a separate pocket to avoid flashing your wallet about.
From our experience, groups of females, elderly couples, and people travelling alone are more likely to fall victim to pickpockets. If you are victim, report the crime immediately to the police and then contact us at email@example.com.
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