Please sign in to post.

Rick Steves was Pickpocketed

I just read on Rick Steve's Facebook page that he was a victim of pick pocketing today! He didn't heed his own warning about wearing a money belt. If it can happen to Rick - it can happen to anyone! Wear those money belts or hide valuables while traveling.

http://blog.ricksteves.com/blog/pickpocketed-paris/

Posted by
486 posts

Look, the money belt is for the super important stuff and then you take a CC or 2 and your ID and some pocket money in a wallet or purse. That was all he lost from the report. You do not use the money belt to buy things. Rick is probably so comfortable that he didn't think twice about where his wallet was located. I think it is a bit over reactive to get stressed about being robbed. It can happen anywhere.

Posted by
5534 posts

I'm guessing he's more embarrassed than stressed -- but reminding us how to deal with it. (Look it up in the back of the guidebook!)

Posted by
7112 posts

The "once" was the day he did not use a money belt.

All the other times he didn't get picked was because he had a money belt.

Just about everybody who has been struck by lightening, probably had never been struck before.

Just because it did not happen yesterday, is no guarantee it will not happen tomorrow

Posted by
2772 posts

Here's what I think: just because you wear a moneybelt, you aren't immune from being the victim of a pickpocket. You aren't in some magic bubble. You don't have a flashing sign saying "No Money Here". You're still at as much risk of being pickpocket ed as the next guy.

You are still going to have cash and or a credit card and or ID in a pocket or a purse. The moneybelt just means the thief will only get a little bit instead of a lot. Even though I wear a cross body bag and am diligent about keeping it close in front if me, I wouldn't dream of having my passport, the bulk of my cash or more than one card in it. That's what the moneybelt is for.

DH was pickpocket ed in Disneyland Paris. But since he was wearing his moneybelt, all the thief got were a few small bills and a lunch receipt .

Posted by
6554 posts

It could happen to anyone. They like to strike falling at the foot of escalators--tripping people falling over each other, etc. They're most often just after cash--and nothing else.
If they want to pickpocket me, they're going to have to first get past my wife--who walks close behind me in train stations and metro stations--for defensive purposes.
I carry no billfold, and actually car very little cash now that the world is into electronic money transactions. And if anyone gets into my space, I'm not a meek gentleman--I'm a complete jerk. And at 6'3" and 235 lbs, most people don't mess with me.
What gets me is that the authorities see the same people all day, every day and do nothing about them. It's almost like they're an accepted profession in Europe.

Posted by
663 posts

What gets me is that the authorities see the same people all day,
every day and do nothing about them.

Yeah, you know, in many countries of Europe, we have this crazy rule about not imprisoning people without some sort of a trial. And then we have this even more crazy rule of "innocent until proven guilty".

Which is, in fact, not always quite easy to prove.

Posted by
7658 posts

"The "once" was the day he did not use a money belt.
All the other times he didn't get picked was because he had a money belt."

joe, how do you know this?

I don't believe for a minute that RS wears a money belt everyday, if ever at all.

Posted by
73 posts

Whether or not Rick Steves ever wears a moneybelt seems to me to be a "red herring," totally beside the point, this story of him without one is a pretty good endorsement for why some sort of secure storage is a good idea.

Posted by
5942 posts

CJean - what you mention is the important part. In wearing a moneybelt, one is protecting oneself from a more painful loss. Of course you're always going to have some cash and maybe one card for immediate access - but whatever you can "stand" to lose -- and not have to go cancelling everything, replacing drivers' licenses etc.

I admire Rick for admitting he got "caught," because of course it's an important reminder for every traveler!

Posted by
356 posts

I lost my driver’s license, two credit cards, and some money.

Losing and replacing the driver's license is probably the most painful one. But why is he carrying it when riding the Métro? Perhaps the lesson is not about wearing a money belt, but about carrying only what you need and can afford to lose.

Posted by
2202 posts

I don't see how wearing a money belt means you won't get "picked" - it just means the pick pockets won't get what's in the money belt.

Posted by
8924 posts

You run the same risk getting robbed with or without a money belt. The belt simply cuts your losses.

Posted by
699 posts

Michael, thanks for posting the link. Good to know the common techniques!

Posted by
2901 posts

People can wear a money belt or not, as they feel appropriate. I personally have never worn a money belt, and probably never will.

Posted by
12131 posts

The "once" was the day he did not use a money belt.

Doubt that. Could the constant here be Paris.

Posted by
490 posts

Sorry to hear about his misfortune.

It must have been in his back pocket! Rick wears baggy pants which means getting into his front pocket is easy too! Why anyone would keep all that in one place on a Paris metro is beyond me! His looks make him a target and Paris transit is a den of thieves!

As a native of New York City, and someone who has lived in Paris, spends time in Naples Italy annually, I can tell you that keeping a wallet in an outside pocket or bag is just asking for it...eventually they are gonna get ya!

In warmer weather keeping valuables under wraps takes a bit more effort. Money belt worn under clothing stays put, no going into it in public. zippered shirt pockets are they best for hot weather for keeping your one credit/debit card and small amount of cash. Two credit cards , cash and driving license in one outer pocket is just silly!

The point being, everyone and anyone can be a target, but in countries like Spain,France and Italy MOST North American, and British tourists are sore thumbs and easy pickings! Especially those who are suburban which means they are not hyper vigilant on a daily basis at home.

In France the pickpockets are mostly under age, slap on the wrist Oliver Twist types who cannot be put in jail.

Posted by
567 posts

My feelings area the same as Emma's. How did Rick know he was pickpocketed? Where were the items that went missing? How does he know they simply didn't fall out of his pocket?

Yes, pickpocketing and theft happen. Yes, there are certain places where you need to be more aware and take precautions. But the attitude on this site is that Europe is a very dangerous place, and you will always be at such a risk that you need to seriously change your normal habits, even at the cost of some personal inconvenience. That is just not the case.

I have gotten ( great English, I know) in the habit of using the neck pouch in most places now when traveling. This includes major tourist spots in USA ( like Washington DC, NYC, etc.) and Latin American places. I have also encountered beggars in many places. It's just good practice to take precautions when traveling. Demeanor goes a long way as well. That's where tourists are vulnerable. We don't always know where we are going and lolly-gag around a bit compared to locals.

Posted by
1068 posts

Well, (as I have stated many times: IMHO there is no right way to travel) some people wear a money belt and some do not. However, I do. While safety may be "overblown" on this site I have been involved in two incidents in my travels (once in Mexico and once in Europe) but never in the U.S. Not saying it couldn't happen here but it hasn't although I carry a wallet with ID, credit cards and cash with me. I do wear a money belt while traveling as; a) I believe tourists are a better target for pick pockets and b) it would be much more inconvenient for me to be robbed while abroad in terms of stopping credit cards, reporting it etc. In one of the two incidents I was wearing a back pack with nothing of importance in it. My friend was walking by my side and a bicyclist came up and told me two girls had gone through my backpack. I took it off and all of the zippers were open. The girls were about 50 yards behind us, just smiled and turned away. In Mexico, I saw that, on a slightly crowded sidewalk, two men were walking straight at me with no room between them and shifted side-to-side as I did when I tried to avoid them. They clearly "accidentally" bumped into me and I thrust my hands into my side pockets although something brushed my empty back pocket. Although this wasn't me, on a Rick Steves tour, one of the tour members was pick-pocketed on a bus. I laugh when people say they "just stay alert to the situation." Pickpockets are professionals who often work in teams. They are skilled at distracting people for the split second it takes for them to work. And I must admit, I never felt anyone open the zippers on my backpack and my friend did not see anything when I had my incident in Europe.....so the pickpockets have pretty good skills and deft hands as well. I'll continue to wear a belt-pocket with credit cards, larger bills, passport etc. They cost less than $20 and I have not yet heard of one of those being stolen by a pickpocket. If someone else doesn't, no worries on my part. I hope they don't get pick-pocketed, but if they do, maybe the thieves will get a good haul and leave everyone else alone for a bit. However, I wouldn't say that someone not using a money belt, neck pouch or belt pocket who avoided being picked was evidence that it was a safer practice than using precautions.

But the attitude on this site is that Europe is a very dangerous place, and you will always be at such a risk that you need to seriously change your normal habits, even at the cost of some personal inconvenience. That is just not the case.

I disagree with that. Most people recognize that Europe is mostly safer than the US for violent crimes etc. It is just that tourists, for various reasons, represent a high risk group. Tourists tend to be distracted, not know local customs such as "personal space rules", hang out in crowds, ride public transportation, look like tourists, carry extra money or high value items like cameras, and are often unavailable to testify at a trial several months down the road.

Posted by
2661 posts

I don't think RS's issue is he didn't have his money belt on. I'm sure he leaves it in his room many times as well. But, why was he carrying two credit cards in his wallet? That seems too much of a neophyte's mistake to be totally believable. Where was his alleged dummy wallet with the message? I can believe a CC, license and money...but two CC's? I think a few legs are being pulled here... Or is just everything now a days making me a bit more cynical? I haven't finished my coffee yet, maybe that's it.

Posted by
1042 posts

I just returned from Paris (and a bunch of other places) where I was not pick-pocketed, I am happy to say. (I was once before 10 years ago ...)
I did not wear my money belt every day, just on travel days when I was moving locations -- it stayed in the rented apartment or hotel room. I now use a Travelon cross body bag with the little clips on the more important zippered compartments.
My wallet, which is at the bottom of the larger section underneath a wadded up shopping bag and my eye glass case, contains cash for the day, my driver's license (in case I need ID or want to rent an audio guide in a museum), and my Kaiser card (just in case!)
I carry one credit card, not in my wallet but in a separate inside zippered compartment inside one of the clipped zipper areas.
My passport, extra credit card, and debit card (unless I am going to the ATM) stay in the apartment. I try to use the ATM later in the day when I am on my way back so that I'm not carrying so much cash around all day. And it goes into the interior zippered compartment in any case, not in my wallet.
My cell phone, which is also my camera, is in the other locked zippered compartment.
On the metro and buses, I try to avoid the most crowded compartments (not always possible) and I keep the bag in front of me close to my body with my hand on the top of it.
I could still get picked, but the thief would have to work pretty hard and there are likely easier "pickings" then me. And short of grabbing my entire purse, he/she wouldn't get everything.
This system seems to work for me. It allows me to be careful AND to relax and enjoy myself without feeling either overly vulnerable or paranoid.

Posted by
8924 posts

slightly cynical about the motives of some of the content on the site.

So you are implying that some of us get some sort of kick-back on money belt sales???? I Haven't gotten any check yet. Guess I should update my PapyPal details.

And in other news the Japanese chain Muji, which is expanding around the world, has a great neck wallet which I have used for a bunch of trips. It's made of light weight parachute style nylon fabric and has a neat fold-in-half design. It's now my go-to accessory to protect my excess my cash, passport, and credit cards from thieves, and accidental loss while in transit; or one can just use it to store make-up. More details here:
http://tinyurl.com/y97zf5av

(I have not been compensated for this endorsement)

Posted by
7658 posts

Agree with you Emma and Bob. Thought the same thing

Posted by
3444 posts

emma,

So the guy who gave away a money belt to every customer taking one of his tours for close to 20 years at no extra cost has what to gain by promoting the use of a money belt? It is just good advice and I'm sure someone would have complained about being pick pocketed and sued him if the advise to wear the belt was not prominent.

While it is true that in the past couple years the money belt is no longer included (as well as the travel guides etc) and you now have to buy one if you want one, I doubt they are a profit leader among the merchandise sold here. Also since the customer receives $100 in credit for each tour to buy the things, there really is no profit in it.

If you are referring to the comments made here be random people about using money belts and similar items, (unless they are identified as being part of the RS organization) none of us get paid to do so. We are only expressing our own opinions from our own experiences.

But, yes, Rick Steves is in business to make money be selling his tours and merchandise. As much as possible. So there probably are many things you can read on the web site that try and convince you that his way is the best. And for many people (me included) that is true in many cases.

Posted by
663 posts

What I find truly surprising about this thread is that some posts sound almost like Rick is some kind of guru whose travel advice has an almost religious quality. Why would it be so surprising that someone who does so much traveling gets pickpocketed once in a while?

I "know" Rick only through his podcasts and find him to be a friendly and knowledgeable host and obviously an experienced traveler whose advice certainly deserves listening to. That does not make him invulnerable, nor does it mean that anyone should put him on some kind of pedestal.

Posted by
2202 posts

In my small corner of the universe, Rick Steves is a pretty big celebrity. I've only seen him once in person, crossing a street in San Francisco. If I had been on that bus or train, I would have been staring at him and if I had noticed what was happening I would have shouted out a warning. Most of us would have done the same thing. Maybe Rick Steves fans aren't as ubiquitous as it sometimes seems.

Posted by
314 posts

I think it's extremely mean-spirited to suggest that this was a ploy to sell security belts.

Tourists are going to get robbed. The way to avoid that is to not look like a tourist. That's very hard for most tourists to accomplish. If you're walking around with a group of people, speaking a foreign language (to the country you're in), wearing "walking shoes," wearing a backpack or any of those ugly, purpose-made "travel" bags, and/or holding a guidebook, you will likely be targeted in high-traffic areas. Solutions include: hiding your stuff better, only carrying minimal amounts of cash, dressing like a city-dweller instead of a tourist, etc.

I travel alone and look European--I travel wearing and carrying exactly what I'd wear for a day out in my home of NYC, and I make sure to learn enough of the host language before I go to get by. But if you're in a tour group or traveling with friends/family, that's just not going to be as easy to accomplish, so you're back to just hiding your stuff on your person better.

I find it interesting that nearly every single one of these stories I read starts with, "We were at a chokepoint (subway/tram/entrance) and there were these shady-looking people and I said to myself, 'Hey, they look like they're up to no good' and dadgummit whaddayaknow? Picked my pocket!" Yes. They did. And you knew they were going to and you let them. When you see these people, make steady eye contact. Give them a look. Put your hand over your bag and stare them down. They'll go look for an easier target.

It's actually really funny that there are professional pickpockets who work as hard at it as people work at legit jobs. Doesn't that defeat the purpose?

Posted by
663 posts

if I had noticed what was happening I would have shouted out a warning

That's sort of what I meant. Why would anyone shout out a warning to protect someone like Rick Steves in particular?

I do hope you would do the same thing for non-celebrity fellow travelers.

Posted by
2202 posts

Why would anyone shout out a warning to protect someone like Rick Steves in particular? I do hope you would do the same thing for non-celebrity fellow travelers.

Wow.

I'm not in the habit of staring at random individuals, but I am not above staring at celebrities that I happen to see - to me that beats disturbing them. Of course if I saw someone other than Rick Steves being robbed, I would shout out a warning. I would also do any number of other things out of basic human decency that I didn't bother to mention in the context of one post on a forum.

I do hope you would do the same.

Posted by
12092 posts

Tourists are going to get robbed. The way to avoid that is to not look
like a tourist. That's very hard for most tourists to accomplish. If
you're walking around with a group of people, speaking a foreign
language (to the country you're in), wearing "walking shoes," wearing
a backpack or any of those ugly, purpose-made "travel" bags, and/or
holding a guidebook, you will likely be targeted in high-traffic
areas. Solutions include: hiding your stuff better, only carrying
minimal amounts of cash, dressing like a city-dweller instead of a
tourist, etc.

Sorry, Astorienne, but I have to disagree. What are you supposed to do, never open your mouth? The minute we speak English, we're toast. Walking shoes? If I'm putting 15 miles at day on my feet, I'm wearing walking shoes, as do tourists from anywhere else in the world. That's SMART. Never look at my guidebook or at a map? What's a guidebook/map for if not to use?

THEY KNOW YOU'RE A TOURIST so give it up. It is not a problem if you use a moneybelt (we don't) or leg wallet or inside security pockets or Pacsafe or whatever it is you do to keep your goodies out of someone else's hands. The methods are many, and they are largely effective. The Hubster and I are tourists and we haven't been robbed yet. Could there be a first time? Never say never but chances are fewer than more if precautions are taken.

I do draw the line at fanny packs, although some of the new-and-improved models are not as dorky. Still, I wouldn't necessarily trust them for security.

LOL, we've been mistaken for Italians by other American tourists only because (evidently) we've mastered the understated "buongiorno" "scusi" and "prego" on the street. Those encounters have been pretty funny. Not all Italians may speak English but they are not deaf so yelling in their ear - as those tourists yelled in mine - isn't going to make them understand you any better! :O)

(Edited typo)

Posted by
7309 posts

Locals get robbed, too. Anyone who is inattentive could get robbed.

And why do they work so hard? Because bosses are waiting for the take. It's organized crime with the kingpin in Eastern Europe. The ones doing the work live in poverty. There are still some home-grown local pick-pockets around, but it's changed since the Wall came down and travel has grown.

Posted by
3444 posts

emma,

Yes, some of the advice is way out there, over dramatic, and probably non helpful in the overall picture of things. But, it is unfortunate that many Americans need that type of overblown hype to understand there is a point trying to be made. :-)

Posted by
12131 posts

Last thing i want to look like is an American pretending to be French. First its not real easy to do and second it works against part of the reason i travel.

Above with option A and B i wasn't supporting either answer. More, marveling at some of the comments that preceded me. He got his pocket picked as did what i would suspect more than 6,000 others in Paris that day.

If you go to Paris and a handful of other places; guard your valuables. If thats too much trouble or bothersome when you are supposed to be enjoying your vacation, then go to one of thousands of places where it isn't a significant issue.

Posted by
1068 posts

What are you supposed to do, never open your mouth? The minute we speak English, we're toast.

Had to laugh. Agree with your sentiments but drop "The minute we speak English" part! Unless you were born/raised/lived in an area (often for considerable time) the natives will know you are a tourist just by your incorrect accent. Heck, my uncle was born and lived until he was 25 just outside of Paris. When he took his family to visit Paris, he was repeatedly asked where he was from because his accent was so strange (after spending 25 years in the US speaking English.) On one of my RS tours, our guide (a fantastic Hungarian lady) said she never got the "Russian" discount because they could tell right away by her accent she wasn't a native. So don't worry about having to speak English to give you away.

Posted by
1878 posts

I am very sorry for Rick's misfortune, and admire him for sharing it openly.

Rick was not wearing a money belt? Next we'll hear he travels with a 27" bag and that a member of his entourage carries up to his fourth floor room. Or, when staying in the president's suites at the Ritz he simply has the porter take it up. Seriously, I am pretty confident that Rick authentically practices what he preaches. Anyone can get sloppy once in a while.

The moral of the story is that it can happen to the best of us. It happened to me at the Vatican Museums last October on my sixteenth trip to Europe (plus abut five or six business trips). I only lost a nearly worn out pair of sunglasses, the case and the cord by which they hung around my neck. My fault, I got sloppy leaving them in an outside pocket of my backpack. Museums are prime territory for pickpockets because everyone is looking up at the art.

Posted by
12092 posts

Unless you were born/raised/lived in an area (often for considerable
time) the natives will know you are a tourist just by your incorrect
accent.

You do have a point there, Ray!

Posted by
2397 posts

Thieves are opportunists. They are not dissuaded by tourists in disguise, large guys who think they have command of their personal space or decoy wallets. The pickpockets in Europe are everywhere and range from beggars to small children to well dressed businessmen to young attractive women. There is no defense other than not having anything in a pocket, backpack or purse you are not willing to lose.

Posted by
743 posts

Our 20-year RS veteran guide last month freely admitted he almost always carries his wallet in his back pocket. I could see it bobbing up and down in his pants as we traipsed around Venice, Florence and Rome. BUT, when we were about to travel on the Rome Metro for the first time, he told everyone that pickpockets would definitely be working the train and that we should consolidate our phones and valuables into our bags and keep them in front of us. He likened it to announcing to the pickpockets that we weren't vulnerable wildebeests to be taken advantage of, and that they should look for more vulnerable prey in the herd. A realistic view, I think.

In our two (yeah, I know, two) trips abroad, I've never felt threatened at all. But I've also tried to be aware and vigilant, keeping my hand on my phone, my pack in front of me, etc. On our trip last month, I carried my driver's license and two credit cards in my phone wallet, and 25 to 100 euros in a front button shirt pocket. I left my passport and everything else zipped in a pocket in my suitcase in our hotel rooms and never worried. I figured that chances of random hotel room break-ins were extremely low and that chances of hotel staff stealing from guests on Rick Steves tours was near zero.

As for Rick being picked after all these years and all the time he spends in Europe, give him a break. It could happen to any of us, anytime, and he immediately offered it up as a learning experience.

Posted by
9189 posts

Recently, on an RS tour, our tour assistant was pickpocketed. Lost passport, credit cards, D/L and cash. It was in the UK, not in a major city, and outside a church. It wasn't lost as the wallet was in a bag and would know if it fell out. It happened while being seated at a table. It can happen to anyone.

An attempt was made on me while buying Vaporetto tickets in Venice. They tried to distract me on my left while they tried to distract me on my right. Fortunately, I connect the zippers on my bag while traveling so they couldn't get into where the goodies were kept although in the few seconds it took me to realize what was happening, they had unzipped one pocket that was empty.

It's not something to sit there and worry about. Take simple precautions, be aware of your surroundings, and go on with your day.

I wear a moneybelt. In my pocket is a small wallet that holds a credit card or two, ID, a transit pass if in an area I need one, and some cash. It is clipped to my pants. In my other pocket is my phone that is also clipped to my pants. Easy for me to unclip both but would take a thief a few extra seconds to figure out how to unclip them.

Foolproof? No. But it means I would feel if they are pulled out of my pockets.

Posted by
73 posts

The other thing about "blending in" to avoid theft is that no matter how perfectly you adapt your style, carriage, and accent, for some people genetics are going to spoil the effort and that's not something you can change (and really, even if you look basically European, is it possible to look like a citizen of every European country you may want to visit?).

Posted by
2147 posts

It sounds like Rick was having an off-day and just didn't take the usual precautions, so I am heeding it as a warning to never let my guard down. As a solo traveler I have plenty of paranoia already going on, though I think I do a good job of tempering it so that it doesn't interfere with my enjoyment of the place I'm visiting. When I was in Paris last year I think I was briefly targeted as I walked along a street leaving the Louvre compound around 7 pm--still light, not many people out, and I walked past a man who then sort of began walking alongside me on my right, then I saw another man coming towards me from the left and he distinctly shook his head and the other man stopped. I can't recall what side my cross-body bag was on, and I will always wonder what made them decide not to pursue me; I am tall, imposing, and walk with a purpose and don't look like someone to mess with is all I can think of.

Posted by
11613 posts

Frank II, pickpockets can unclip a closure very quickly. It takes a lot of practice, is all.

As for blending in, I think it's the water bottle that gives us away.

Posted by
486 posts

What has worked for me is to spread the valuables around. Have just a wallet or pouch for the money. Id is in another area and hidden deep in my bag. CC are in a different place, too. Men: believe it or not you can carry more than one wallet. Use a money clip with small bills in your front pocket, then put CC in another. You will hardly need an ID, but you could put that in a hidden pocket or belt loop hidden pocket. Do they still make those belts with a zip for hiding stuff?

Posted by
119 posts

Question for David from Florence, Alabama:

You told us that you are 6'3" and weigh 235. You stated that a pickpocket would first have to get past your wife who walks close behind you. So, how large is your wife?

Posted by
119 posts

Question for David from Florence, Alabama:

You told us that you are 6'3" and weigh 235. You stated that a pickpocket would first have to get past your wife who walks close behind you. So, how large is your wife?

Posted by
3421 posts

"...Paris transit is a den of thieves!...the pickpockets are mostly under age...who cannot be put in jail." Seriously??

Posted by
9189 posts

Frank II, pickpockets can unclip a closure very quickly. It takes a lot of practice, is all.

Undoing a clip on a bag is different than trying to do one inside my pants pocket. I think I would feel the fingers moving around. When picking a pocket, it's the hand that moves, not the fingers. And the clip is similar to a carabiner so not that easy to unclip.

Posted by
440 posts

Should Practice what you Preach Rick. I am sure though he had his passport and large amounts of cash in his hotel room and only lost a few euros and the cards which can be cancelled.

Posted by
1811 posts

I think it's much ado about nothing. Rick was admitting he got pickpocketed--big deal. Four months a year, 120 days, on the road, that money belt or neck pouch would get quite tiresome, especially in an area when one would 'think' pickpocketing wouldn't happen. I was actually a little amused. Do as I say...Rick would laugh too, I think.

Rick gives good advice. He's empowered me to travel to Europe independently. And a big part of that original trepidation was the fear of losing my 'stuff' while over there. I wear a neck pouch every day I am out of the hotel, B&B or apartment on European soil, now out of habit. That way--unless I am mugged, a rare occurrence in Europe--there is a 0% chance I lose my important stuff, unless it's out of my own stupidity like dropping or forgetting something. Three trips, 45 days on the ground, in all kinds of 'pickpocketable' situations--Milan train station, Rome buses, Florence crowds, Paris Metro come to mind--nothing has happened.

To each his/her own, but for me the neck pouch is an absolute no-brainer.

Posted by
7 posts

So sorry to hear Rick was pickpocketed!

Many years ago, my father was a victim on the Rome Metro. He didn't lose much ... €50,00 and his driver's license. I'd asked him for his wallet to put into my PacSafe handbag before boarding, but he said, "Don't worry about." We boarded the Metro car, and just as the doors were closing, the thief shoved into the car, a jacket draped over one arm and dark sunglasses, and jostled my father. In less than 5 seconds, Dad said, "My wallet is gone." The thief had no where to move in the crowded car and quickly got off the next stop. Of course, there was nothing we could do. And while we did report the theft to the police (a memorable visit to the station near the Castel Sant'Angelo); alas, they could also do nothing.

Dad's gone now, but since that experience, I ALWAYS use a PacSafe bag when traveling. Being wary and vigilant is not always enough!

Posted by
330 posts

I have used the pacsafe neck wallet for the past few years. It is awesome

It is basically a slash proof fabric wallet that closes with velcro and has a zipper compartment inside as well. It is on a fabric-covered cable that is adjustable. It isn't very big but it holds a tremendous amount of stuff. I can keep 4 passports, my wallet and a money clip inside it pretty easily but it still doesn't take up much space.

I don't wear it around my neck or even over my shoulder. But my wife will wear hers over her shoulder alot.

I usually just slip it over my head and then wear it like a belt and then just put it under my shirt and tighten it. I then move it around so it's on my side so I can always feel it with my arm when I'm walking

I keep my money and other valuables in the zipper compartment which is again inside the velcro flap. And then there's a larger compartment under the velcro flap that I actually put my wallet in. There is still another small pocket to put small items in.

By keeping everything in one place it's less confusing and I can access my wallet numerous times throughout the day and even if somebody knows where I keep it it would be near impossible to take from me unless they robbed me at knifepoint and made me give it to them.

The cable can't be cut and the velcro is strong enough that in order to get into it they would really have to struggle and I would notice it.

We have two of these I won't travel any other way. I don't have to worry about pockets

Posted by
330 posts

I'll reiterate again that a neck wallet isn't even necessary if you use something like the pacsafe that's slash proof and wear it around your waist. You can deep carry your money in the zipper compartment but also keep your wallet in it and access it multiple times throughout the day. There's no way somebody can get in it or take that from you without physically making you give it to them

Posted by
5 posts

Has anyone ever used a worthless, throwaway wallet in the back pocket? I usually do this, using a worn old wallet with a couple of hotel key cards and a small bit of cash, adding some business card bulk to make it a bit more obvious and real. Then I keep the real thing either in a zippered pants leg or on a money belt. I figure if I get accosted I can turn over the worthless wallet and hope they're satisfied. Does make me wonder, tho, if the zippered pants leg could be a pickpocket target despite the back pocket "wallet." Any thoughts on that?

Posted by
2397 posts

A decoy wallet? Why would you want to draw attention to yourself like that? This is not a game, this is how they earn a living. You do know that skilled pickpockets can lift several items at once so while they take your bait they are searching other places, those around you, etc. I think it's a very bad idea.

Posted by
440 posts

Don't bother with a Decoy wallet it just gives pickpockets a chance to go for you and you may be as unlucky to have your real wallet stolen and the decoy left in your back pocket which would make you the silly one.

Posted by
433 posts

You would not be "accosted" in Europe, pickpockets are way more subtle and non-violent. The decoy wallet is a waste of time and energy.

Be aware in crowded places, keep serious money and valuables inside your clothing and you'll be safe.

Enjoy your trip!