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Pickpocket Scams in Venice Italy

Venice Italy is another great "don't miss" cities in Italy, but again, one where numerous incidents of pickpocket incidents committed against travelers. Like tourists, pickpockets love Venice too.

While this article just focuses on pickpockets issues in Venice Italy, make sure you check out the articles which talk about specific pickpocket locations in the most common Italian cities visited by tourists.  The other pickpocket articles on this website which should be visited include:

Pickpocket Scams Reported in Venice Italy

Venice is an unusual city of waterways instead of roadways. It can be incredibly romantic and relaxing, but flooding is not the only danger in Venice.

The following are some common pickpocket and scam  incidents reported in and around Venice Italy.

  1. Areas with reported incidence of theft include: Piazza di San Marco, Academia Museum, the Rialto Bridge, smaller, crowded bridges.
  2. When a young man in his teens is close in vicinity to you, and he creates a sudden distraction such as asking directions, accidentally spilling food on you, or even partaking in a heated argument, this is strong indication that the young man is indeed trying to create a situation to steal by creating a distraction.
  3. In Venice, there are a variety of skilled Venetian pickpockets.  Some of which are very bold and known as a “Back-Pocketer.”  This type of pickpocket is able to easily free wallets from tourists’ back pockets by making a small cut on the rear pocket (and sometimes front pocket in very tight congested locations) with a box cutter, causing the tourist's wallet to fall into the pickpocket's hands.

Pickpocket Scams on Venice Water Bus or also know as Vaporetto

Since the canals are the main transportation in Venice, many travelers use water taxis as transportation.  These water taxis are known by several names including public boats, water bus, or in Italian - "Il Vaporetto" or "Motoscafi."

While these boats run almost constantly, the Vaporetto is usually overcrowded and people are jammed on like sardines, which is why it favored by pickpockets.  The pickpockets know tourists love to ride on these boat so they buy tickets so they can work their way onto the boat, into the crowd, and into your pocket or purse.  Be very mindful of pickpockets on the Vaporetto when it is packed!

Obviously, tourists fall victim to pickpockets during the height of the travel season - summer - where skilled Venice pickpockets take advantage of overcrowded water taxis.  Rainy days are also common times when pickpockets seem to strike travelers more since the water taxis will be packed to the gills.

The following are a few tips to keep in mind when you want to avoid pickpockets while riding on Venice water taxi's:

  1. The standard water bus or auto bus fare is a rather steep € 6,00 for the popular lines on the Grand.  Cana Carnival is also a time of year when pick pocketing increases with the increase of tipsy, foreign tourists.
  2. The Vaporetto (waterbus) that travels between the Academia and Rialto boat debarkation stops is known to be favorite of tourists and pick pockets alike. When the Vaporetto is full on a rainy day, the commotion of passengers entering and disembarking creates an ideal situation for thieves to add luggage or a few wallets to their collections.
  3. Pickpockets look for those who build in the advantage - such as those who get caught in a crowd rushing toward the water taxi embarkation ramps.
  4. Venice pickpockets are also known to take advantage of those waiting in line to get onto a water ferry.  Depending on the time of day, the lines can be very long and pickpockets have been know to work their way into the crowd.
  5. Be careful if you are parking at the Tronchetto and want to ride the public Vaporetto boat into Venice. Men have been known to surrounded travelers and told where to walk.  Many of these people will not direct you to the right place - the will direct you to the private taxi boats and not the public Vaporetto dock.

On the positive side, the people of Venice have created a civilian anti-pick pocket patrol called the Cittadini Non Distratti. Venetian citizens, who are members of this patrol, walk the streets of their beloved city looking for offenders. Many store owners are also members of this organization making it difficult for thieves to use stolen credit cards.

In fact, most pick pockets simply place stolen wallets in mailboxes around the city - keeping only the cash. Identification and credit cards make it easier to catch these thieves; therefore these items are not valuable for these particular pick pockets. The postal service then delivers the abandoned wallets to the local police.

Our site contains over 100 pages of travel safety tips and security tips that are useful for any traveler. You will find tips involving luggage theft, avoiding pickpockets, laptop theft, hotel burglary, and airplane, train, automobile, and boat travel crimes.