Pickpocketing is basically the action stealing of money or other valuables from the person of a victim without them noticing the theft at the time. In other words, one of the most common ways of robbing tourists overseas.
Recently, the OSAC released a report advising travelers to be particularly cautious with their belongings in areas like Oriente and also near some bus stations. Wallets and cellphones are particularly vulnerable to pickpocketing in these areas and crime reporting typically increases during the summer, primarily due to the increase in tourism.
Pickpocketing in the Lisbon area is most likely to occur in buses, hotel lobbies, restaurants, the airport, trains, train stations, and trams. Take special care in the Oriente, Santa Apolonia, Entrecampos, Marques do Pombal, and Rossio metro and train stations, the Sete Rios bus station, the Alfama, Martim Moniz, Baixa, and Bairro Alto districts, and the tourist area of Belém. The 28 Tram is particularly notorious for pickpocketing. Visitors should pay very close attention to all their belongings while waiting for or riding on the 28 Tram. Surreptitious purse snatchings occur in restaurants and bars from bags left on the backs of or underneath chairs.
How to actually avoid being pickpocketed?
1) Carry your backpack on the front
Yes! As weird as it sounds, backpacks make you vulnerable to pickpocketing because anyone can open them without you noticing at the first sight. If you’re into crowded spaces at Lisbon or at the bus station, place your backpack in front of your body so it looks like you’re carrying one of those baby holders instead.
2) Don’t flash your techy gadgets!
I know having an iPhone X is like super cool but, don’t show it to everybody! Especially on public spaces where chances to get pickpocketed are very high. Instead, keep all your stuff safely in your purse/backpack. Also be careful with your pockets! If they’re loose, it might be easier for the thief to get a hold of your phone.
3) If you feel someone is getting too close, turn away
This applies especially to people who can get pickpocketed on the train or subway. If you feel like someone is getting too close to you or moving at the same time as you in the same direction, try to keep your distance and alert the nearest person on that place. Chances of getting pickpocketed on subways are higher when there’s a lot of people in it!
While Lisbon is full of beautiful places to go and it’s also home to the WebSubmmit, they’re not safe from this type of felony. Actually, it occurs a lot to tourists in the area so beware!
We’d love to hear your safety advice too! So, please feel free to leave a comment below!