The best way to avoid pickpockets in Paris is to know their methods, where they are most often found and what to do to avoid having your belongings stolen.
Paris, like many large cities, is highly populated and therefore full of potential targets for pickpockets. After reading this article you will know everything about the techniques of pickpockets and the good behavior to adopt to avoid them.
The places where there are the most pickpockets
The most notorious place in Paris where pickpockets are found is in public transportation. Whether it’s in the metro, the bus or the streetcar, it’s the perfect place for pickpockets. Often noisy and crowded, public transportation offers pickpockets easy and discreet access to your pockets and bags.
In the same idea as public transport, busy tourist places have the same characteristics. They are often crowded and people are relatively close to each other. In addition, unlike in public transport, you are focused on the place or the show and you think even less about your pockets and bags.
Other places that we don’t always think about are the parks. Indeed, the capital has many of them and they serve as a place to walk, relax or play. But they are also a place where people tend to relax their vigilance. People lie down in the grass, sit on the benches and put their bags next to them for example. And here unlike the first two places, pickpockets will not take advantage of the crowd or the noise. But simply grab a bag that is within reach and to which the owner does not pay too much attention, then run away with it.
Finally, other places that we don’t think much about are restaurants. Quick question, have you ever put your phone on the table at a restaurant? Or do you usually hang your purse on the back of the chair? Well, these examples are ideal situations for pickpockets because you give them quick and easy access to your stuff.
Here is an article that will interest you about the 5 best parks in Paris : https://absolutely-french.eu/les-meilleurs-parcs-a-paris/
The right behaviors to adopt to avoid pickpockets in Paris
Of course, the above-mentioned places are more risky areas, but this does not mean that you should not go there. You just need to adopt certain techniques to be able to go to these places without worrying about pickpockets. We are going to teach you the simple and effective methods that will allow you to move around Paris with a clear mind.
Never put anything in your back pockets!
Even though it may seem obvious, in a moment of inadvertence you may put your phone or wallet in your back pocket. This is a very easy place for pickpockets to get to, and one that is not seen.
Don’t take your money out in public
Taking out money in public clearly shows pickpockets that you are a target. Indeed, when pickpockets steal a wallet they don’t know what they will find inside. So if they are sure that you have money, they will prefer to target you.
Never put your bag on the floor, always on your lap
Whether you’re on public transportation or in the park, always keep your bag on your lap, don’t put it on the ground. If you put it next to you, even at less than a meter, you give the opportunity to pickpockets to take it and run away.
Do not hold your phone in your hand
We are regularly on our phones but we have an annoying tendency to keep it in our hands when we are not using it. Force yourself to always put it in your pockets when you are not using it. Why should you do this?
First, it allows pickpockets to assess the value of your phone. Secondly, as for the bag, keeping it in your hand gives pickpockets the opportunity to grab it and run with it.
Do not carry your purse on your shoulder
Carrying your purse on one shoulder is dangerous because it allows pickpockets to « snatch » it. That is to say that they can grab it and run away with it, nothing will hold it.
But if you wear it as on the picture, it cannot be snatched.
Since the techniques we have just seen are becoming more and more developed, pickpockets are becoming more and more inventive in finding scams to steal your belongings. Here are some of the most common ones, so you will know if you are in one of these situations.
The street artists
Please do not assume that all street performers are pickpockets. But some pickpockets use these street shows as a means of diversion to slip into the public and empty the pockets of the spectators, while his accomplice distracts them with magic, music, humor…
The person who asks you for directions
As for the street show, it is often a diversion. A person comes to ask you for directions to divert your attention while an accomplice steals your wallet. But it can also be a single person, who asks you for directions by asking you to look at your phone, then grabs it and runs away. However, do not think that all the people who ask you for directions are thieves, far from it. It’s just a matter of trusting your instincts and seeing if you « feel » the person or not. There is no miracle rule to know if people have good or bad intentions.
People who offer you help
If you are a tourist traveling with your suitcase or a very heavy person, beware of people who offer to help you carry your belongings. This can also be a technique to steal your belongings. As with the previous point, don’t consider anyone who offers to help you as a thief. It is far from it! Just trust your intuition.
Those who offer to take your picture
Here as for the 2 previous points, there is no rule to know if the person is sincere or not. Simply, prefer families or elderly people, there is much less chance that the latter are pickpockets.
It is possible that this article has scared you a bit and given you a bad image of Paris. Of course there are pickpockets, but don’t analyze every person you meet or talk to as a pickpocket. This could ruin your experience in Paris. Simply apply the few methods that you have been taught and enjoy your Parisian life, it will be all the more pleasant!
Did these tips help you? Do you know other ways to avoid pickpockets? Feel free to tell us in comments and share it with others.
Now that you know how to walk around Paris safely, open the best markets in the city: https://absolutely-french.eu/les-meilleurs-marches-de-paris/
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