Traveling is one of the most enlightening and enjoyable experiences a person can have. Despite the multiple warnings people give, it's generally safe. However, certain areas are more dangerous than others. These ten cities are those where you should keep a closer eye on your wallet due to their high pick pocketing rates.
- Barcelona, Spain
While this city is one of the most beautiful in the world, attracting visitors year round, the high tourist count makes it a perfect location for pickpockets. The generally crowded spaces make it much more difficult to tell when someone is walking too close behind you. Keep your wits about you, or use a travel wallet.
- Paris, France
Areas that attract a lot of tourists are prone to higher rates of crime. Local pickpockets target people in and around the Eiffel Tower, as well as many of the major museums. Keep an eye out for people walking too close to you.
- Madrid, Spain
One of Madrid's major attractions is the El Rastro flea market. However, it's also a breeding ground for crime and the fleet-fingered; with so many distractions around the area, it makes it an easy location for pickpockets to make off with your wallet without getting noticed.
- Prague, Czech Republic
Beginning to notice a theme? Major tourist areas are also the most dangerous. Purse snatchers and pick pockets target these places specifically because there will be foreigners on vacation, typically carrying a large amount of money. When staring at the Charles Bridge or Prague Castle, keep your money close at hand.
- Rome, Italy
Because of the high number of ancient sites to take photographs with, people often place their belongings on the ground. However, even a few seconds of inattention can result in those items being grabbed by a fast-fingered thief. If you must set your belongings down to get a picture with a monument, make sure the photographer keeps them near their feet.
- Hanoi, Vietnam
Vietnam is, unfortunately, still feeling the effects of the war fifty years ago. Many people live below the poverty line, so when rich tourists appear on the streets, they become quick targets for pickpockets. Make sure to keep an eye out for bumps or accidental collisions with someone else, as these are often used for cover when snatching a wallet.
- Amsterdam, Netherlands
Despite its generally liberal laws concerning things illegal in other parts of the world, Amsterdam has a large number of pickpockets. If suddenly approached by someone who seems overly friendly and intent on keeping your attention on them, make sure to pay attention for a partner who may be coming up behind you.
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
One of the most common ploys for pickpockets in this city is to drop mustard or liquid on you. While a friendly local might stop to help you clean up, their partner will be nearby, ready to part you with your wallet and disappear before you notice.
- Florence, Italy
While you're generally safe inside buildings, pay close attention to your purse or wallet when standing in one of the city's many squares. These areas teem with pickpockets looking for distracted tourists.
- Athens, Greece
Tourists are so busy staring at the sights around them that they forget to look down. Many pickpockets will use small children to grab wallets and disappear into the crowd before a tourist can react. Keep an eye out for this scam.
To prevent your wallet or purse from getting lost, there is one simple thing you can do: pay attention. If you walk with purpose and keep your wits about you, most pickpockets will leave you alone in favor of an easier target. You can also invest in travel wallets or money belts to minimize the effect that pickpockets have on your travels.