Europe is a common travel destination for Americans, especially during the summer, when the weather is nice and the sun is shining. However, while it sure is a nice place to visit, it doesn't come free of inconveniences, and one American has shared tips on how to avoid being the victim of petty crime.

Some of the biggest cities in Europe are extremely popular spots for pickpockets, who tend to target tourists who are not familiar with their surroundings.

But don't let criminals ruin your holiday. An Italian American woman who lives in Rome shared a list of things to do to avoid being pickpocketed in Europe and if you're going this summer, you may want to take notes.

In the video shared on TikTok in March under the username sammi_iam, the poster explains that the first thing to do is to be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings in sight. She says if you have a bag, keep it in front of you, with your hand on it, and most importantly keep it zipped or buttoned up.

The 30-year-old marketing and brand strategist, writer, and digital content creator, Sammi DiBacco, who moved to Rome in 2017 to finish her studies, told Newsweek that during her time in Rome, she has only once almost fallen victim to pickpockets.

"I only had one incident when I studied abroad in Rome during university where a pickpocket tried to steal my digital camera out of my jacket's front pocket, but I noticed and swatted his hand away. I remember screaming at him and making a big scene so everyone knew there was a pickpocket on the train."

She reiterated that tourists in all European cities should stay hyper-vigilant around the major tourist sites, and particularly while riding on public transport.

"Recently, people have commented on my TikTok videos that pickpockets on the metro have been hitting the emergency stop button to disorient people and then snatch things out of their bags. When you're in these situations where there are many people, keep your hand on your bag at all times and ensure your valuables are zipped inside.

"Don't put your purse or bag on the ground or back of your chair, keep it on your lap. Something I didn't mention in the video, but put in the comments is to not put your phone down on the table when at a bar or restaurant, this is an easy way for it to get swiped by a passerby."

Another common street scam she has witnessed while in Europe is people trying to hand tourists something "for free," and then demanding money for it.

"Typically it will be bracelets and roses. Just tell them no and keep moving or ignore them."

A U.K. insurance price comparison platform called recently carried out a study about pickpocketing in Europe and found that in the last year Italy has seen over 478 pickpocketing incidents for every million British visitors, France 251, and Spain 111.

Another safety tip DiBacco shared in her TikTok video is to never put your bag at the back of your chair when dining outside, because that's the easiest way for pickpockets to take it without you noticing. Instead keep it on lap where you can see it.

If you're walking in a crowded area while wearing a backpack, the best option is to keep it in front of you, to make sure nobody sneaks anything out of it.

To be extra safe you should also avoid leaving anything valuable in easily accessible places, like big, loose pockets or back pockets. But most importantly she said: "Don't leave your phone sitting on the table at a bar/restaurant!"

The video quickly went viral on social media, getting viewers from across TikTok. It has so far received over 1.1 million views and 33,200 likes on the platform.

One user, Shaunnagh, commented: "I went to Milan two years ago and to avoid being pickpocketed I had a small handbag that the strap can clip off to when we would sit down and eat I would unclip the strap wrap it around the chair and reclip it so I couldn't be taken from the chair."

And Itsleeang added: "We got pickpocketed waiting for a train going to Rome. They took my younger son's foldable diaper changing pad thing that looked like a purse from afar. Joke's on them."

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2024-06-04T18:15:57Z dg43tfdfdgfd