Pickpocketing is a serious problem in major tourist destinations such as Barcelona, Paris, Athens, and many others. Here are 8 tips how to avoid pickpockets. Even though some of these tips sound silly, they might actually help :)
Tip #1: When taking the metro, try entering the middle car and keep your purse, backpack, and the rest of your belongings in front of you. In some instances thieves try to get items from you when you enter into the car and they are getting off (and taking your belongings with them). It is just easier for them to escape from the end or beginning of the train.
Tip #2: If somebody spills coffee on you, don't let them be close to you trying to help. This is a common trick when thieves spill on you and then 'help'. Well, after they help you might not have your wallet.
Tip #3: Do not look too much like a tourist if at all possible, and if you do make sure to safely hide your wallet. However, if you carry a camera, tour books, & maps it is hard to hide that you are a tourist.
Here is one of many stories about it: "Yes, wallet was stolen in Venice when my husband was too busy taking photos and didn't even feel his wallet pulled from his pocket. Lots of credit card charges followed..."
Tip #4: Never put your wallet or anything valuable into your pockets that can be easily accessed.
Tip #5: Leave passports and most of your credit cards in hotel's safe box or in the apartment where you are staying. I know cases when tourists were missing passports in subway or any other crowded places and it was a pain to restore. One friend suggested the following: "I didn't use a wallet in Rome. Just had a few "shekels" in my pockets, and ATM and credit card. Had back up credit cards in my wallet back at the hotel".
Tip #6: Pickpockets can be older and innocent looking people. A couple of years ago my sister-in-law was standing in front of the display window and saw in the display reflection when elderly,
innocent looking lady was trying to open her backpack.
Tip #7: Try not to stop for photo taking, rest break, food break, or just admire scenery in very touristy and crowded areas. Find a quiet spot instead.
Tip #8: Don't sign any petitions, no matter how strongly you feel about the anti-drug movement in the foreign county you are visiting. Also don't believe you just lost jewelery and the nice lady is giving it back to you and don't give any one directions