Holidaymakers can ‘discourage pickpockets’ using ‘small safety pin’ hack

Woman catches pickpocketer attempting to steal her wallet

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Pickpocketing can happen to anyone, but tourists in many destinations are a particular target. Even if you have all of your belongings tucked away in your bag or on your person, a skilled thief could still steal them without you even realising.

This is why, in certain places around the world, tourists need to be extra vigilant about protecting their belongings.

In a Reddit forum dedicated to anti-theft hacks, one traveller revealed a sneaky deterrent using a “small safety pin”.

The user, posting under the name turnipthebe3t explained they “used a small safety pin through the zipper loops” of their wallet.

Simply zip the wallet shut as normal, and then place the safety pin through the loops and lock it together.

They added: “Sure, anyone can open it – but it takes time and it’s finicky, enough to discourage any pickpockets.

“I’ve been in some shady areas around Europe and never had a problem.”

You could take things a step further, and lock together your zips using a small padlock.

This way, only you will be able to open your wallet, so even if it does go missing your money and cards will be locked inside.

Though it may be inconvenient to get in and out of, this method can provide “peace of mind” while on public transport or in crowded spaces, according to the Reddit forum.

Alternatively, some travellers carry a second decoy wallet with them.

Alex, a blogger who runs the website Travel Fashion Girl explained: “I recommend travelling with two wallets.

“Put a few bills in one wallet and a larger amount of money in the other.

“My travel partner and I did this in Central America.

“In case we were ever robbed, we could hand over the wallet with the least amount of money in it and keep the other wallet.”

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She explained that this can also work as a preventative measure in hotel rooms and hostels.

Alex said: “During our Central America trip, we would leave what I call an ‘offering’.

“At a hostel, we’d leave one wallet with a $20 (approximately £16) bill and a fake credit card underneath the pillow.

“In theory, most theft is opportunistic, so thieves grab and go.

“If someone were to come into our hostel room, they would find our ‘hidden stash’ underneath the pillow, grab the wallet, and leave feeling satisfied that they had struck gold.

“They’d then be less likely to go through our suitcases and backpacks with our valuables.”

According to research by TripAdvisor, some cities are more prone to pickpockets than others.

The Spanish city of Barcelona was dubbed the world’s top spot for common pickpocketing and tourists are particularly at risk in the city’s hotspots such as Las Ramblas.

The Italian capital of Rome was named the second top pickpocketing hotspot.

TripAdvisor named Prague in Czechia as the third biggest destination for pickpockets.

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