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Pickpockets on Athens Metro

Here's a report from a friend on how she was pickpocketed on the Athens Metro last week. Watch out for "helpful" strangers:

"It was in a very crowded Metro train at the Akropolis stop in Athens. The train was jam packed. The doors opened, and two (or four) arms reached out and literally lifted us onto the train. I smiled at the nicely dressed man for being so helpful. He gave me a wide grin back. When we got off the train my (zipped shut, carried frontally) purse was too light. My wallet and phone had been surgically removed from it, and it had been re-zipped shut. Bob's phone had been lifted out of his front pocket without his noticing. Fortunately our passports were back in the hotel room and one credit card and one debit card were tucked safely into a money belt Bob had buttoned under his shirt."

Posted by
1179 posts

Unfortunately pick pockets are an issue on the Metro and other high-impact tourist areas. I have been lucky not to have any encounters with them and even the most knowledgeable traveler can be hit.

I once had a diminutive well-dressed man who spoke excellent English try to lure me to a bar where they charge you outrageous prices for watered-down drinks. Fortunately I knew what his game was and warned him off.

Always keep valuables close at hand or in money belts, bags/purses with straps cross ways over your shoulder rather than on one shoulder, and be leery when someone out-of-the-blue strikes up a conversation with you. One of his partners-in-crime will behind you sizing you up.

The vast majority of Greeks are honest, polite, courteous and helpful and even they can be taken for advantage by scammers.

For the most part many tourists won't be affected. Use common sense and don't let a few low-lives deter you going to Athens.

Posted by
11535 posts

It is unfortunate about your friend's experience. Mine was quite the opposite.
On the trip from the airport to central Athens met a woman who splits her time between Fla. and Greece where she has family. As the train grew more crowded on its way to town this woman was seated with us. She had several fresh HUGE lemons with her and gave us one. When we got into Syntagma we had to transfer to another train and as I was gazing at the board trying to figure out what train I needed to get and how to get to where I needed to be to board it, a local came up offered to help and in 10 seconf=ds had me on my way to the right place. I probably would have spent 10 minutes trying to figure it out on my own.

Sadly its a case of 'one rotten apple', spoiling it for so many others.

Hopefully all the other locals they met made up for the one 'rotten apple'