We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

Which Paris hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Bloomsburg
Level Contributor
500 posts
252 reviews
Save Topic
Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

Hello. For protection against pickpocketing, is a "wrist wallet" a good or bad idea for a few items only? I imagine it would be very difficult for someone to get into this (zippered) without my knowledge, but I do not know the varying skill levels that might be encountered amongst pickpockets. We also have "Scottevest's" and I plan on hand sewing an interior pocket with velcro on a few items of clothing. Am I going to extremes? I will not carry a backpack or purse when out sightseeing, and my camera is so small it fits inside a front pocket. My presumption is that pickpockets generally go for the easy mark ..... ? TY!

Paris, France
Level Contributor
16,685 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

All of this sounds like overkill to me. I carry a purse, and pay attention to my surroundings and have never had any problems.

Saratoga Springs, NY
Level Contributor
5,452 posts
144 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

It's overkill, for sure. They do want the easy mark. I find wrist wallets to be uncomfortable for anything much longer than an hour -- I use one for exercise sometimes.

One of the regular forumites raves about her scottevest. I do love my pacsafe bag, although it can get heavy. But it's not necessarily.

Seriously, just don't be dumb. Use basic street smarts. Don't put your wallet in your back jeans pocket or in a backpack. Ladies don't leave your purses wide open with your wallet on top, ready to fall out.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
21,743 posts
85 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

I carry a purse.. just as I have for last 35 -40 years.. can't imagine not ..

My purse has a full zippered top with a flap that covers the zipper and clasps/clicks shut firmly.

I would never wear those vests.. they look hot and like you are going fishing.

I think you would do best to read a bit more about just carrying one days cash with you in purse or wallet and the rest leave in hotel safe ( what I do) or wear in your moneybelt under clothes and do NOT access it in public

Relax,, keep your EYES open and don't stop to talk to people who randomly approach you for money, to sign a petition or asking if you "speak english".

Tucson, Arizona
Level Contributor
2,234 posts
1,760 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

Yes, you are going to extremes. I wear a cross-body purse, as do many others, and have experienced no pickpocket attempts. If you wear a Scottevest, be sure you know exactly where you've stashed everything. Fumbling in the vest's pockets signals to pickpockets where you've carrying items.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
3,464 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

Also keep in mind that a large part of the pickpocket trade is based on social engineering. Someone can have the most securely hidden wallet in the world, these safety measures will be useless if they stop to sign a "petition" and give a "donation", buy a gold ring "found" on the street, or pay someone who used his own credit card to "help" get tickets from a train / metro ticket machine.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
7,189 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

I have my wallet with daily amount of money in zipped inside pocket of my purse. My husband doesn't have anything ( except toilet coin) in his pocket, but carry invisible money belt with our passports, cc and couple hundred extra. Never had any problems, but we 're quite conscious while in crowd.

Bloomsburg
Level Contributor
500 posts
252 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

Wow - TY for the quick replies. joan1, your comment "I think you would do best to read a bit more about just carrying one days cash with you in purse or wallet and the rest leave in hotel safe ( what I do)" ...... is good advice, and what I intend to do. I have read (tirelessly) on this forum, many great ideas. I have read every single post on the "what do your wish someone had told you" topic for instance. The wrist wallet is quite small, and I do intend to keep just a few Euro's folded up in there and perhaps my room key. I intend to take only what I need for the day with me. I also agree about the vest not being exactly stylish, but they are fabulous for foreign air travel because they essentially let you get away with another carry on! Plus, the women's Scottevest is fairly decent looking and mine will only be used for our air travel/arrival at hotel portion of our trip and for our long day trip to Versaille .....

Rumples, your comment "If you wear a Scottevest, be sure you know exactly where you've stashed everything. Fumbling in the vest's pockets signals to pickpockets where you've carrying items". This is a point well taken!

We are from a SMALL town; there is zero pickpocketing that goes on here (seriously) - so it will not be second nature for us to always be hyper-vigilant / on guard. I am sure this is what happens to many tourists, especially when they are absorbed in the moment of the various wonders of Paris! People naturally and absent-mindedly go back to there "normal" pattern of behavior that they employ day to day (for my husband, this will mean placing his wallet into his back pocket without thinking). I will just have to remember what it was like in Mexico City when we traveled there several years ago (a woman actually razor-bladed my husbands buttoned back pocket on a local bus to try to get his wallet out - she failed!), and most of the major city attractions were frequented by pickpockets; I actually stood guard over my husband while he took photos, and literally watched 2 men come up and TRY to lift his wallet out of a front pocket as he photographed.....).

Paris 4th Arr
Level Contributor
7,257 posts
12 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

My proposal to visitors to Paris is this: You will need to take some physical precautions before visiting Europe. All the advice about wallets, not hanging your purse or handbag on the back of your chair when you're seated on a sidewalk, leaving large amounts of cash and critical documents in the hotel safe, etc, etc. are solid good advice. Do what you need to feel comfortable but try to put the crime threat in Paris into perspective. It's not a den of thieves here. There are some very concentrated places where vigilance should be heightened but there's a very small chance you'll have anything happen to you here. Really. It's true. The likelihood of a crime being perpetrated on you here is very small. Don't let the posts on TA scare you into a state of paranoia that will ruin your vacation.

Basically, don't talk to strangers and keep your backpack zipped up. A free gold ring isn't free, and there's no reason anyone should be signing a petition in a foreign country. That's all you need to do to relax and enjoy your visit without worry.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
6,833 posts
118 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

I wouldn't wear a "wrist wallet", simply because I know that I would be waving my hands around all day, and what was attached to them might "go missing" - one way or another. No sense in tempting fate.

Wear a neck pouch and/or a money belt and go about your business.

Stop all that sewing - just use a couple of great big safety pins instead - a lot easier and works just as well.

Y'all are making the Velcro people rich and driving me nuts - the sound of Velcro ripping open drives me absolutely insane - and contrary to popular belief, it will not stop a determined pickpocket ; )

Here's just one good tip about any new, special, theft-prood travel garments you plan to be wearing in Paris -

practice filling them up with what you think you will be using on a daily basis - wear this around for several days, so you get used to what feels comfortable to you.

Practice runs are also a very good idea when packing your luggage - remember that you will have to haul all your stuff yourself, usually quite a distance through airports and stations - even before you get to RER, Metro or Bus.

Edited: 14 April 2014, 17:36
Bloomsburg
Level Contributor
500 posts
252 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Yet another "pickpocket" prevention question!?

Great advice! I was thinking about the safety pin idea myself, and sounds less obtrusive/annoying! Also, I thought personally that a neck pouch might bother me more than a wrist wallet, but I also know that visually this will be a magnet ......