Travellers are easy prey to pickpockets, who can be just anyone: the neatly dressed young man standing next to you, someone you have got acquainted with during your holiday or a charming granny may take your bag or empty your wallet.
Read these eight tips to reduce the risk of theft.
1. Learn about the destination in advance
Learn about your destination, for example by means of travel guides and travel information provided by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Check which places should be avoided. The more you know, the better.
2. Choose a safe place to stay
Statistically speaking, most thefts occur in hotels. Check hotel recommendations in TripAdvisor, for example, and choose a safe hotel. If the hotel or the room itself has a safe deposit box, keep your money, other payment card and valuables there.
3. Blend in
Do not look like the average tourist. Do you walk with a map in your hand and take the odd photo? If so, you'll be sure to stick out and the thieves will know who to target. Don't hang a camera round your neck, keep it in a bag.
4. Keep an eye on your bag
Always keep your bag in your sight. A rucksack is handy on holidays, but you cannot see what's going on behind your back. When in a restaurant, do not hang your bag behind the backrest where you cannot see it. Put in on the floor, for example, so that it touches your leg.
5. Two payment cards will provide protection during your journey
Prefer paying with a card abroad. Two cards will provide protection during your journey if the other card is damaged or get lost. If your card gets lost, report it immediately to the card deactivation service. This is how you will ensure a carefree holiday because responsibility for any subsequent fraud transfers to the bank immediately.
The less money you are carrying with you, the better. You should not count your cash in public places or exchange large amounts of currency in advance. It is advisable to buy cash in the destination at ATMs or foreign exchange outlets according to your needs.
6. Beware of swindlers
It is easy to be swindled in restaurants and shops if you are not familiar with the local currency and price level. You may not realise any additional costs that you should not be paying. If you are not sure about a bill you have been given, convert the amount into euros.
7. Have the right attitude
It's easy to get lost in a new place. If this happens, try to appear that you are in control of the situation. If you panic, you will be easy to trick. Always try to find a landmark to know where you are.
8. Be careful
Use your common sense and be careful. Avoid anyone behaving in a strange way, because it may only be a way of drawing attention to them and distracting you.
Never walk in the dark but in lit places where there are other people.
Be careful but remember to enjoy your holiday, too. If you get into trouble, you can get help from any Euro-Center office.