How the scam works:
If you are visiting, let’s say, the Coliseum in Rome, you will most likely have to stand in line for about 15-20 minutes, on a good day. The line is compact and thick (4-5 people wide) and slowly advances, as everybody is mesmerized by the overwhelming construction.
Almost everybody looks up to the walls and arcades. The tourist beside you has a backpack, wears a football shirt, and seems to be just as interested as you are in the Coliseum. He might be even snapping pictures. While he is constantly looking up to the stones, taking pictures with his left hand, he may use the backpack as a buffer between you and him, just so he can operate with his right hand.
Trust us, you won’t feel it, because you don’t pay attention to him. Remember, these guys pick pocket several times per hour and their fingers are just as accurate as the surgeons’.
The most popular cities in the world for pick-pocketing are: Naples, Rome (Vatican, Colisseum), Venice (San Marco Square), and Barcelona (Las Ramblas area).
How to avoid:
Never place your wallet or cash in side or back pockets. Try the inside chest pocket and, if you have zippers, it’s even better.
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