Scams and pickpockets in Rome! How to protect yourself from pickpockets in Rome!

Written by on 1. November 2016 in Worth knowing & Tips with 0 Comments

There are pickpockets and scams in Rome like in any other big city with tourists en masse. How you can protect yourself from pickpockets in Rome is revealed in this article. Enjoy reading!

Beware of scams: Pickpockets and thieves in Rome

With more than 10 million visitors per year Rome is one of the most visited cities. Unfortunately, it also attracts many pickpockets for that reason. Scams and tourist traps are often not far from tourist crowds!

st-peters-square-in-rome

Like in other big cities, pickpockets have invented a wide array of traps for unwary tourists. However, the presence of pickpockets doesn’t mean that Rome is a dangerous city. Don’t let tourist scams discourage you from visiting Rome, but always keep a watchful eye. A healthy suspicion can sometimes be very helpful.

Don’t fall for these scams in Rome

1. The jacket trick – Typical tourist trap in Rome!

The so-called “jacket trick” in Rome can be observed over and over again. A car stops on the roadside and asks a passing tourist for information. To show his gratitude for the directions, he offers him a designer jacket from the backseat. Realizing that he doesn’t have enough money to refuel, he asks the tourist for help. As soon as the tourist takes out his wallet, the driver snaps his bills and steps on the gas.

2. Be aware of pickpockets in the public transport and open places in Rome!

Whenever you’re in a crowd of people, take care of your valuables! It is very likely that a pickpocket is carrying out his malicious plans unnoticeably. Especially at popular sights, you should be on guard and keep an eye on your valuables. Special caution is to be exercised at the Colosseum, St. Peter’s square, the Spanish Stairs and the Trevi Fountain. Pickpockets are even active in churches, so never let your purse or jacket pocket open if you visit St. Peter’s Basilica.

3. The magazine trick: Another tourist trap in Rome!

In many European cities, including Rome, you can see young people carrying a list of signatures. The trick is very simple: Passersby are stopped and involved in a conversation to sign a list for a noble cause. In most cases, the charities don’t really exist. Those who sign are then asked to donate some money right away. As soon as they open their wallet, they fall victim to the swift hands of pickpockets. So be careful!

4. Distraction – a pickpocket’s best friend!

A popular trick among pickpockets that can be observed in many cities is distraction. There are numerous pickpockets that rely on distraction techniques to obtain some money. Rome is no exception to this. Despite all admiration for the beauty of the city, you should always keep your wallet in mind and hold on to it when you’re in a crowd. It also happens that a single person or a group tries to talk to you. However, their role is only to distract you while a pickpocket takes your valuables.

How do I protect myself from pickpockets in Rome?

Pickpockets often try their luck when it gets crowded in public transports like the metro or the bus. When the passengers stand close to each other, it’s less noticeable when you get pushed “unintentionally”. It’s a method to distract you while your wallet or cash is being stolen. If you think this could never happen to you, then think again. It can happen to anybody! This attitude is also not very advantageous because it will diminish your level of alertness.

Advice #1: Carry your bag in front of the body!

In public transports in Rome it is advisable to take off your backpack and carry it on the chest. This will make it more difficult for a pickpocket to steal something from your bag without notice! The same applies to handbags.

Advice #2: Empty your handbag and carry it across the shoulder!

Dear ladies, it’s best to wear your handbag across the shoulder and to sort out anything you don’t need in advance. A bit of cash for the day and perhaps a phone, but multiple bank cards, your driver’s license and your passport are usually not required for sightseeing in Rome!

Advice #3: No wallet in the back pocket!

Dear guys, even though you may be used to it, you should not wear your wallet in the back pocket of your pants. It’s best to put your wallet in the inside pocket of your jacket or in another safe place. In the metro in Rome, it gets full especially in the morning and evening. If you take the bus, be aware that bus line 64, which goes directly to the Vatican, is particularly known for pickpockets.

Advice #4: Don’t put valuables on the table!

If you sit in a café or restaurant in Rome, you should not put your valuables on the table, or, like many people do, hang your jacket over the chair. This only invites pickpockets from the neighbor table to grab unnoticeably in your jacket.

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