If you have been pickpocketed abroad, you’d know how it feels and how helpless it makes you feel. But that doesn’t and shouldn’t stop you from travelling. In fact, it helps you to travel with all the necessary precautions. If you have already experienced it and didn’t know what to do, keep reading. Others who haven’t experienced anything like this before, keep reading so that you are prepared. This can happen to anyone, even you.
First of all, let’s not help the robbers to rob us. We definitely make a few mistakes that the pickpocketers catch and then do what they do best. Here are the mistakes that tourists do with their valuables in abroad.
Mistakes That We Do
- Do not put anything valuable in the back pocket. Yours bulged out wallet is an easy target.
- Sling bags are easy targets too. Make sure you carry cross body bags or backpacks when roaming in crowded areas. Even better if you wear them on your front.
- Don’t look like an outsider. Try to blend in by wearing what locals wear.
- Don’t immediately take out your smartphones or maps when you get out of the train or bus. It is a clear indication that you are an outsider and not a local resident. This increases your chance of getting pickpocketed abroad.
- Keep soft copies of the documents you are carrying with you. Do not keep all the originals together. Keep them in separate pockets.
- Do not wear expensive jewellery when travelling to a crowded place. Consider wearing cheaper jewellery or NO jewellery while travelling. Diamonds are safe when they are in the safe of a hotel room or at your home. They are not the correct choice to wear in a place filled with people. If you still wish to wear one, buy a fake one and wear it.
- Don’t offer your phone to strangers and make it easy for them to steal it.
- Don’t put your smartphones on the table when sitting in a crowded place or even in a coffee shop.
- When travelling, use cash as less as possible. Instead, use credit cards and debit cards. It is easier to report fraud when you pay with cards. You can block them with just one call if you notice any unusual activity on your cards.
- Use a money belt; Period. Instead of taking a wallet that can be slipped away from the back and make you regret every second of your trip, take a money belt. A money belt can be wrapped around your waist and is spacious enough to carry your money and mobile and other small items.
What To Do When Pick Pocketed Abroad
- First and foremost block all your bank cards, credit cards, debit cards.
- Also, block your sim card.
- Go to the police station and report the incident. A police report is important because it will be helpful when you have to claim your insurance.
- Talk to the staff of the hotel you are staying in. They will be able o guide you to the nearest police station.
- Go to the Embassy just in case you lose your passport.
- In the Embassy you can apply for a new passport. Going to the Embassy should be the next step after going to the police station.
For Us passports, you will have to Put a lost passport statement In order to receive a new passport, also known as a DS-64.
You can fill this online before going to the Embassy by visiting the State Department’s website.
7. Apply for travel insurance before embarking on your trip, ensure it covers theft and loss of property. Here’s everything you need to know about travel insurance policies.
8. When it comes to making an insurance claim, the biggest problem you can be facing is providing information about how much cash was stolen. Insurance policies have a limit.
Usually, the cash lost is never reimbursed. That is why it is better to use cards instead of cash. It is easier to show proofs.
How to Get Cash When You Can’t Access Your Cards
Even before you start travelling, make sure to sign up for Skype so that it becomes easy to communicate with people even if you lose your phone. You can also contact people via Facebook Messenger or Google Hangouts. This way you have another way to stay in touch with your family and friends. Contacting people will be important because you will have to call your contacts to ask for temporary financial help. Since you will not be able to access your cards, Western Union is a great option. Western Union is easily accessible and is located everywhere.
The embassy will also be able to help you with the information on the most reliable ways to get money. Also, if in case of emergency you are not able to arrange money for yourself, the Embassy will help you to fly back. It won’t be free but the embassy can be very helpful if you are pickpocketed abroad. You will have to pay for the tickets when you reach home. In these cases, the prices are double the actual price of the tickets. So keep it as the last option.
Here are a few tips to avoid thefts:
- Buy luggage with zippers that are lockable.
- Travel with two wallets. Keep one wallet in the bag and carry another with bills and less cash. Keep the fake one handy and the other one safe.
- Don’t carry passports with you when going for sightseeing.
- Store the passport in the luggage that is lockable.
- Use anti-theft accessories like a money belt, crossbody bags, travel bra stash, clothes with secret pockets.
- Keep just enough money for the day in your wallet. Keep all the extra money in the safe in your hotel room.
- Don’t keep all the credit cards with you when you are out. If any mishap happens, you will lose one card, not every card.
- Look for purses that have concealed pockets.
Never feel disheartened, whatever happens, if you get pickpocketed abroad, treat it as a learning experience and move on. I hope these tips have helped you to be safe.
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