ParisWatch Out for Paris Pickpockets
You might have read in the news that recently, the Eiffel Tower was closed for an entire day after employees refused to work due to the aggressive pickpockets. Pickpockets are a huge problem in all major cities but especially Paris, Rome and Barcelona (one of our writers got mugged in Barcelona; here’s that story).

My point is to be very careful when visiting tourist attractions or taking public transportation. Crowded trains, subways and markets are a haven for pickpockets and they come in all shapes and forms—from little kids to seniors. My advice is to not carry anything of value in your back pocket and to keep your guard up. I also suggest getting a jacket or vest like one of Scottevest‘s (full disclosure, they are an advertiser but that’s not why I recommend them) since they have clothing with multiple hidden pockets to help you keep your valuables safe.



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4 Comments On "Travel Tip of the Day: Watch Out for Paris Pickpockets"
  1. Rohit Gupta|

    Yes. I almost had my (front) pocket picked at the top of the stairs leading down to the metro stop near the Eiffel Tower. Got lucky that time but definitely need to be careful in Paris.

  2. Don Karstedt|

    Good tip–this is a real problem. My wife and I just returned from a cruise trip that left from Civitavecchia, Italy. It’s quite common for cruisers to take a train from Rome to the cruise ship port of Civitavecchia, which makes that train quite a target.

    The scam we witnessed: Finding that train can be a very long walk/run through the Rome train station and you will find many people willing to help direct you and carry your bags–they will go through both your own pockets and all outside pockets of the bags if they get their hands on them. Secondly, they will have accomplices standing just inside the doors of the train “helping” you get the bags through the door and into the train. They will create a panic by waiving you in, and acting like they are trying to hold the doors open as if the train were leaving–but they are actually causing the doors to close on top of you and your bags, creating as much commotion as possible. As they are dragging you and your bags into the train, they will again, skillfully go through all open pockets of everything. They’ll stay in the doorway and repeat this until the train is REALLY about to leave, and then they hop off, and prepare for the next one.

  3. Linda Perry|

    I just returned from Paris (thanks to Johnny Jet posting the great deal to fly to Copenhagen) and even though I thought I was fully prepared for pick pocketers (reading so many warnings ahead of time), while shopping for macaroons I sensed something and looked up to find a man very close to me. He apologized and stepped back and I noticed my purse was completely unzipped. Luckily that day I had put my small wallet with my credit cards and money in a smaller zippered pocket inside my purse so he didn’t get to it but my advice to women is to carry a small coin purse with your credit cards and money and zip it up in a smaller pocket in your purse. This way they have to get through 2 barriers to get to your wallet instead of just one.

  4. Ian Livingston|

    From reader Fran:

    “We have also had two (almost three) experiences with pickpockets.

    The first was in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. I was ordering food at a counter, while my husband was getting us a table. My purse was across my body, with my hand over it. When I was going to pay, my money (about the equivalent of $40) was gone. I didn’t remember being bumped. Perhaps I relaxed my hand while ordering.

    On another occasion, we were at a train station in Rome when two young men with newspapers were shadowing us. Since they were probably professionals and I was not, I chose to go back to the hotel.

    On another occasion, we were walking in Lima, Peru. My purse was across my body, and next to my husband. He has his wallet in a front pocket (away from me, with his hand in his pocket on the wallet). Two young men came next to us. We didn’t look at them as they came again. One pointed at my husband’s shoulder, and I looked in his direction and saw red dust on his shirt. One of the young men pointed up toward a building. A vendor motioned for us to come in. We didn’t know whom to trust. In retrospect, I know that the vendor was trying to help. (This was over thirty years ago.) I cleaned off his shoulder (not smart). One of the young men tripped my husband, while another took the wallet, and fled. Again, our loss was the equivalent of about $40.”

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