5 Slick Pickpocket Schemes To Watch Out For

On the list of the most dreaded misfortunes is getting your money stolen. No matter how it happens, it’s quite the unfortunate event, but when the money’s stolen right out of your pocket, it’s even worse! Not only are you left down and out, you’re left feeling stupid for letting it happen so easily, as if the thief was taking candy from a baby! Here are 5 especially sneaky pickpocket methods of madness to watch out like a hawk for.

Bogus police

A heist that happens in foreign countries, this scheme involves supposedly legitimate law enforcement. Thieves in fake police uniforms will approach the victim, accusing them of some made-up crime and ask to see their ID or wallet. Sometimes the crooks will even ask the victim to get into their “police car” so they can take them down to the station. They’ll then steal money from the victim and throw him out of the car. This heist is especially effective as many times the victims are tourists and do not ask to see the police badge, or they simply can’t tell the difference between a fake badge and real one since they’re in unfamiliar territory. Often the victim will be so scared to be reprimanded in a foreign country that they’ll hand over their wallet or information to comply and avoid further trouble.

Flat tire

In this scam, the thief would intentionally give a car a flat tire while it’s parked and the owner is elsewhere. The thief then waits for the victim to return, follows them down the road, then conveniently flags them down to offer help to fix their flat. While acting like they’re changing the flat tire, the thief will steal the victim’s purse or valuables in the car and take off. This heist is quite common in Europe, with many thieves targeting tourists in rental cars. They’ll pull up alongside the tourist and tell them they have a flat tire. When the tourist pulls over, the thief jump outs and steals their belongings.

Bait and switch

This scenario goes something like this: an unsuspecting man meets a gorgeous woman in a nightclub in a foreign country. They spend the whole evening chatting it up and hitting it off like old friends. When the lady excuses herself to go to the restroom near the end of the night, the man is left with a huge bill he’s forced to pay to the club owners. If he refuses to, physical violence or demand that he empty his pockets may ensue. So if you’re heading overseas, avoid crowded tourist traps and don’t get too comfortable with anyone you meet.

Balinese monkeys (not monks!)

The tropical country of Bali attracts countless tourists each year looking to escape to paradise. The temple of Pura Uluwatu, a popular tourist attraction, is also a popular spot for them to get pickpocketed by none other than monkeys! The monkeys are trained to grab anything they can get their hands on off of the tourist, whether it be bags, cameras, sunglasses or the like. It’s sort of hard to retaliate when you’ve been robbed by a monkey, don’t you think? The monkeys’ owners are usually standing near by after this crime occurs, and reward their little thieves with a piece of fruit.

Grocery store pickpockets

Virginia’s Fairfax Times reported on a pickpocketing spree that resulted in more than $100,000 in stolen money. Tamara Claiborne and Jonathan Washington were arrested for allegedly pickpocketing as a team in 50 separate incidents around Virginia and Maryland. The pair would hit a grocery store and Claiborne would ask an unsuspecting shopper for help reading a product label. As the victim assisted her, Washington would snatch up the victim’s unattended purse. Treat your purse like you would a baby, and don’t leave it unattended in your shopping cart.

Kristen Bright is the social media consultant for Instant Checkmate. Instant Checkmate is a personal criminal background check provider, and does not perform employment screening of any kind.

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