How Thieves Target Tourists

When you travel, it is easy to forget about all the bad things that can happen. You spend more time enjoying yourself and don’t think about the possibility of becoming the victim of theft. Unfortunately, tourists tend to be prime targets for thieves, no matter where you travel, though Europe seems to have the most problems in this area. Learning tips on  how thieves identify and target tourists can help you protect yourself and the rest of your traveling party.

being robbed while traveling

What Makes You a Target

The thieves who are most likely to target tourists are looking for certain identifying factors that can help them pick out the tourists from the other people in an area. After all, even the most popular tourist destinations have full-time residents. Some of the most common identifying factors are:

  • Wandering around aimlessly because you don’t know where you are going.

  • Carrying a map in your hands.

  • Carrying a backpack or a large number of bags.

  • Wearing shorts in areas where most locals don’t wear them.

  • Carrying a lot of cash on your person.

  • Taking pictures of everything around you.

How Thieves Target Tourists

When thieves have you in their sights, they will likely follow you before they make a move. They want to be able to identify your weaknesses so they can reduce the risks of getting caught. For instance, perhaps you have a habit of leaving your purse zipper open or your wallet is in a loose pocket where it can easily be accessed. They may even wait for you to go to a crowded area where you won’t notice a minor jostle. They also watch for you to stop paying attention, such as putting your camera down and looking away from it. These are all open doors to allow the thieves to victimize you.

How Can You Protect Yourself

It is up to you to take the proper steps to protect yourself when you travel, whether you stay in the United States or venture overseas. Always be aware of your surroundings and keep your money in a safe place, such as a money belt. Avoid flashing large amounts of cash in public and consider using a credit card so it can be canceled if it is lost or stolen. In addition to these steps, you may also want to:

  • Leave valuables in your hotel room safe.

  • Purchase theft insurance on any expensive electronics.

  • Make copies of all your important documents, including passports and tickets.

  • Don’t engage with individuals unless they are law enforcement or you are dealing with them to make a purchase.

  • Keep any valuables you carry in a secure location that remains closed, not in an open pocket.

  • Double-check that you have everything with you each time you exit a vehicle or leave an establishment, especially if you were sitting down.

  • Always keep any eye on your bags.

These are just a few tips you can use to protect yourself and your belongings whenever you travel. Remember, theft can happen anywhere so it’s important to be prepared.  When you are unaware of your surroundings, you are even more susceptible.

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