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Italy - Tourist Scams Naples

Naples Italy is another great "don't miss" city in Italy, but again, one which is also the source of many pickpocket reports from travelers. While this article just focuses on pickpockets issues in Naples Italy, make sure you check out the article on general pickpocket tips in Italy itself, as well as other cities which pickpockets that are also discussed, including:

Pickpocket Scams in Naples Italy

For many, Naples is the capital city for petty theft. There have been many news stories on the clever scams tourists encounter in Naples, and the thieves seem to be slightly more aggressive than in other parts of Italy. The most commons types of theft in Naples include bag snatching and jewelry theft. The central station (Stazione Central) is a prime area for pick pockets and scammers. Other areas of concern include Napoli Centrale, Piazza Garibaldi, the Quarteri Spagnoli, the Circumvesuviana line, and on the street Corso Umberto I.

  • In Naples, beware of the Scippatori (snatchers), or two-wheel riding bandits who grab bags while riding by on bikes, scooters or motorcycles.
  • The vendors in Naples are famous for a unique scam. In Piazza Garibaldi people try to sell the most recent models of digital cameras, video cameras, cell phones, etc. at a jaw-dropping, low price. The salespeople even let you try out the devices. You pay for two cell phones and the salesperson puts them in a bag. You get back to your hotel to try out your new phones and find a brick instead. The sales person switched the cell phones for a brick when you were not looking.
  • When traveling by train to nearby Sorrento or Salerno, a fellow passenger with no bags may offer to assist you with your luggage while boarding. You decline the offer, but notice that they stay on the train and could actually be passengers. At the next stop, the same person watches as you struggle to disembark the train, at which point they pick your pockets. Because you thought the thieves were really passengers, you drop your suspicious thoughts and make yourself vulnerable.
  • Napoli Centrale Train Station is a haven for pickpockets and thieves, so be aware of belongings at all times and watch out for prying eyes trying to steal credit card information when using the automated ticket machines.

  • At the main train station in Naples, a gentleman who claims to work for the station offers to carry your bags to your connecting train. Decline the offer, even if a uniformed employee supports his claim and even if he yells that you will miss your train and strongly insists. This man will either charge a large fee for his service once you arrive at your connection, or even worse, he is a thief and you arrive at your next destination with no bags.
  • The Circumvesuviana line is swarming with suspicious characters. The train has large, automatic doors on both sides. A man steps into the train, standing in the doorway as the doors start to close. A fellow passenger believes that they man is having trouble boarding and reaches out to assist the man. Just then the man reaches out and snatches the watch off the man next to you and disappears as the doors close and the train departs.
  • Taxi drivers may use multiple methods to earn a few extra bucks from a fare. A taxi may not use a meter, but offer a price list with the driver claiming he can drive you to a destination for less than the cost of a train ticket. Generally not true,
  • Pay a taxi fare while still in the cab. If you pay from the street, the taxi driver may grab your entire wallet and speed off.
  • If you decide to rent a car in Naples and someone motions for you to pull over - do not pull over – stay in the car, carjacking has become popular in the area. It is also possible that someone may rear-end your car, resulting in you exiting your car, and then someone stealing it.
  • Be wary of men who try to collect a fee for parking on public streets – however if you do not pay, you may find damages to your car once you return. It is probably best to find another area to park.
  • It is always possible that the friendly, helpful gentlemen who offered to show you back to the train station may expect a fee for his service.
  • People will set up gambling-like games with bells, cards, beans, etc. They may even make an offer for you to play with their money to prove that it is legitimate. Once you begin to play with your own money, however, you will never win.
  • When visiting these areas, consider traveling with a travel security travel bag, purse, or waist pack that has built in security features that help secure your valuables. These bags have anti-pickpocket features such as pickpocket proof zippers, security straps that can't be cut and also allow you to detach the strap from the bag and physically secure it to a restaurant chair while you are having a cup of coffee or lunch. Here is a variety of these travel security bags. With so many styles, you're sure to find a bag style to meet your needs.  Security Purses -  Security Waist-Packs / Security Fanny Packs  - Security Travel Bags.

Pickpocket Activity at the Beverello Boat Docks to Capri

Many tourists find that a trip to Capri is one of the best parts of visiting Naples, and when they want to go, they make their way to the Beverello boat docks, where different boats leave roughly every hour.  To get to the docks, most tourists purchase a biglietto tram (tram ticket) from any newsstand in Naples Stazione Centrale train station, then exit the station, angle a bit left to cross the bus-choked Piazza Garibaldi out front to the far side where you'll find the stops for tram #1 and bus R2, either of which will get you to the Molo Beverello. Tram #1 goes alongside the port past many docks before arriving at Molo Beverello. Once at the docks, tourists enter the boats for their roughly 5 min to 1 hour 15 min trip to the island of Capri (depending on what type of boat you take).

Tourists should use caution when in transit to Capri.  When taking this route to the island docks, keep an eye out for pickpocket activity specifically in the following areas: the ticket station, in the piazzas, on the tram to the Beverello boat dock, and even on the boats to Capri.  For years tourists have reported pickpocket activity at these locations - obviously due to the amount of tourists.