Summer is traveling season, and no matter if you travel within the country or all over Europe, thieves are everywhere. Especially the large European capitals are hot spots to rip off tourists.
Germany is the most populated country in Europe, so crowds are to be expected. With crowds, come the pick-pockets. People often assume themselves too safe here, because, compared to other countries, Germany has a relatively low crime rate. But, theft is still one of the most common crimes here.
So, what can you do?
With a few simple steps, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of theft. Awareness is a big factor. If you know you are going out and will encounter crowds, regardless if you are going to the train station, a Volksfest, the local Fasching Parade or the Christmas Market, be prepared. Only bring as much cash as you need; use bags with zippers - keep them closed and turned towards yourself. A neck pouch or fanny pack can be concealed under jackets or sweaters, and lock your valuables in the trunk of the car and out of sight. Jackets with inner pockets that can be zipped are a great alternative, too.
Scammers and pick-pockets often work in groups and are trained masters in deception and stealing; a wallet can exchange owners in a matter of seconds.
Popular tricks are:
Bumping into people
The target will be distracted while one thief will be profusely apologizing, while the other is dipping into the victim’s pockets. Alternatively, they might spill something on the victim, ask for directions or divert the victim’s attention any other way they can.
Crowding the victims
The thief will get as close as possible to his target. When the victim turns away, they get into pockets or open purses.
The exchange trick
The scammer will approach his victim to ask if they can exchange some money for change. While the victim counts they money out of his wallet, credit cards and bills are easy grabbing’s from the wallet.
The large parking areas set up for events can be like an open buffet for thieves. The parking areas are rarely guarded and fast pickings for a couple teams of tricksters. Professionals take less than a minute to pick a car door. Don’t leave valuables in the car, or lock them up out of sight in the trunk.
Keeping valuables close
Don’t keep valuables in strollers or hang your purse on your stroller. A trained pick pocket will grab your purse right off your stroller.
The hanging jackets
If you hang up your jacket while in a filled beer tent or crowded train, make sure to remove your wallet and valuables. Pick-pockets love unattended pieces of clothing they can go through.
Be aware and prepared, don’t give crime a chance!
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