When travelling in big cities abroad, one of the most important things to be wary of is pickpockets.
Even if pickpockets operate in your own city, the ones in anothers may work in a different way. Not every case of pickpocketing is just a case of lifting and running: many pickpockets work in groups and have more elaborate systems which allow them to take your things without you noticing.
Here is a list of the 10 cities in you are most likely to run into pickpockets:
Barcelona, Spain: An estimate of over 7.5 million tourists visited Barcelona in 2014, according to Barcelona Tourism – all of them were vulnerable to pickpockets. Las Ramblas, the famous pedestrian street and popular tourist attraction, is a hotspot for such incidents.
Rome, Italy: Full of historical landmarks and cultural hotspots, Rome attracts millions of tourists every year. Unfortunately, a large crowd gathering to snap photos of the Colloseum is an open invitation to any pickpocketer to take phones, cameras and wallets from unsuspecting tourists.
Prague, Czech Republic: With crowds of people descending on the narrow, cobbled streets every year, one has to be extra careful with their belongings.
Madrid, Spain: The second Spanish city on the list, Madrid is a fast-moving and busy city. El Rastro fleamarket and the Metro are cited as some of the most risky places when it comes to pickpockets.
Paris, France: With huge crowds gathering by the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Metro, everyone is vulnerable to pickpockets. It is important to keep an eye on your things when in the busy aras of the city.
Florence, Italy: If you stare too long at Michaelangelo’s David, chances are you might get something swiped. Not everyone is looking at the art.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Pickpockets in this city have been known to use the ‘mustard trick’: they drop blots of mustard on your back which is meant to look like bird droppings, and a ‘friendly’ stranger will try to assist you. Keep an eye out for such friendly people and avoid stolen phones and other belongings.
Amsterdam, Netherlands: The city is known for being relaxed and friendly, but that does not mean it is safe from the ever-present pickpockets. Crowds of tourists in the centre of the city attract pickpockets, who take advantage of the new-found laid back Dutch attitude.
Athens, Greece: Athens is full of outdoor monuments and attractions, which means very little security in their busiest places.
Hanoi, Vietnam: The Old Quarter in Vietnam’s capital is filled with historic monuments and fascinating architecture, proving as a good place for pickpockets.