Avoid Getting Pickpocketed On A Trip To A Big City With This TikToker's Clothing Hack

If you're visiting a major European city, you may be concerned about being pickpocketed. It's a fairly common occurrence. Quotezone.co.uk created the European Pickpocketing Index in early 2024 after studying the proportion of pickpocketing mentions in British reviews of major tourist sites across the continent. There were 478 mentions for every million British visitor reviews for the top five tourist attractions in Italy, making it the country with the most instances, followed by France and Spain. While that doesn't seem like a massive number, it's not that small either — especially when you consider around 10 million people visit the Colosseum every year. 


Pickpocketing can happen anywhere, and it's not new. (If you've ever seen the musical "Oliver!" — set in the 1830s — you know this already.) However, some of the ways we foil pickpocket attempts are pretty modern. This includes some really great tips from a TikTok user that can help prevent you from falling victim to this crime.

User @nancylilturtle posted a video where she showed herself wearing an under-the-shirt waist bag. These are flat zippered pouches that sit against the skin. (Pro tip: When shopping, search for running belts which can be even flatter.) When looking for an easy target, pickpockets may not see these and move on to an open backpack (which should make you think twice about traveling with one) or a wallet sticking out of a pocket. There are more tips in the TikTok video that we'll explore, as well as adding some of our own.


TikTok hack to prevent pickpockets

In the TikTok, we're also shown an anti-theft purse. These often have things like slash-resistant straps so no one can cut the bag off your shoulder. They sometimes have locking zippers as well, though you can also take a twist tie and twist it between zipper pulls. This is going to keep a thief from working on your bag for too long because it increases their risk of being seen. Another feature many anti-theft purses or bags have is an RFID blocker, which can help keep your credit cards from being scanned. You can watch the TikTok below. 


I did my homework and was safe from pickpocket in Rome & Paris #parispickpocket #attenzionepickpocket #traveltoktok #fypシ

♬ original sound – jovynn – jovynn

We've got more tips for you as well. Flashy dressing and jewelry can make you a target. A pickpocket may see your shiny rings or expensive watch and assume you have extra cash on your person. It's worth dressing down and going a bit incognito. Keep an eye on your surroundings. Pickpockets sometimes use distractions like a fight or a street performance to find unaware victims. It can also happen as you gaze up at monuments in awe. 

Be aware of what's happening around you and keep a hand on your bag or wallet, etc. if you're looking somewhere else. Sitting at a cafe? Put your purse or bag strap under your chair leg and keep the bag between your feet. Finally, here are travel pro Rick Steves' expert tips to avoid getting pickpocketed on your next trip to Europe