Pickpocketing and RFID digital ID theft are two ongoing problems affecting tourists around the world. San Francisco shows an increase in the numbers of pickpocketing crimes. Meanwhile, one thief at Coachella allegedly pickpocketed more than 100 phones at the music festival. Thieves have even been caught on video pickpocketing victims, who fall asleep on public transportation or subways. The bottom line is you can be a victim anywhere there are crowds.
When traveling overseas, Independent.co.uk reports pickpocketing is a major issue in the crowded tourist locations of Barcelona, Rome, Prague, Madrid, Paris, Florence, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, Athens, and Hanoi.
While being pickpocketed is a crisis when you discover your wallet has been stolen, most people don’t report pickpocketing to the local police because there’s nothing they can do to investigate for a lengthy period of time. Most people don’t even bother with filing a police report because it’s a lower priority crime. Instead, the victim cancels his or her credit cards immediately and hopes his or her identity doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. The thieves know this and continue to victimized tourists.
Now, digital identity thieves are using RFID scanners and skimmers in public places to steal your credit card information without you knowing until your identity has been stolen and the financial damage is done. It only takes a few seconds to steal your information with a digital scanner or skimmer held close to your body. Identity fraud hit a record number of Americans in 2016. While your credit card may provide limited protection from fraud, it’s a fact that debit card holders have even less protection against theft because a bank account can be depleted in minutes. Passports now contain all your personal information on a RFID chip, so they can transmit your personal information too. For peace of mind when you travel to popular destinations protect your RFID chipped cards and passport, and protect your identity.
Travel Tips to Prevent Pickpocketing
It’s always important to take precautions to protect your identity, especially when you travel. Here are tips that will help you safeguard your credit cards, wallet, and digital identity from pickpockets.
- Protect your passport, credit cards and identity with RFID blocking travel gear.
- Only carry zippered purses; better yet upgrade to a handbag with an anti-theft locking zipper.
- Limit the number of valuables in your handbag or backpack, dividing them up if you can.
- Do not put your wallet into your back pocket, also known as the “sucker pocket” to pickpockets and thieves.
- Limit yourself to carry only one credit card in your wallet.
- Limit yourself to carry only one ID card or driver’s license in your wallet or handbag.
- Limit the amount of cash you carry in your wallet or handbag.
- Copy or take photos of your credit cards and passport in case they’re stolen, so you can your cancel credit cards quickly.
- When getting cash, check the ATM machine for an illegal skimmer, best to use one found inside a bank.
- Hold your belongings in front of you in crowded tourist areas, this includes public transportation and even churches.
- Be aware of your surroundings or if someone is following you. Stop, step into a store, or turn around to confirm your suspicions.
Anti-Theft Travel Products to Prevent Pickpocketing or Digital ID Theft
There are also several products that help prevent you from becoming a victim of pickpocketing or ID theft while traveling.