People travel around the world and enjoy the culture and attractions. But not everyone comes home with the best experience. Some people were either completely tricked or temporarily let their guard down and lost their valuables to pick pocketers. The following are some stories from people who were robbed in the country they were visiting.
“I got robbed in Bolivia by two guys. One guy ran by and dropped a roll of bills on the sidewalk and a second guy picked it up and said “Did you see who dropped this?” Showing me a roll of bills. I pointed and he sort of led me to follow the guy. We took a turn around a corner into a less busy side street and the first guy started asking me if I just wanted to split it and held up the money so I could see .. at which point first guy walks in and acts like he will hit me, pushing second guy. Somewhere in there my pocket gets picked and both run away dropping the wad of bills as a distraction. The wad of bills turns out to be mostly counterfeit.
Someone tried something similar to me in Ukraine a wad of cash was on the ground and someone tried to somehow get me involved with it, I just played dumb and shrugged my shoulders that I’ve no idea about it.”
“This is going to sound made up but it’s not. Went to a club with my friends. Paid 100 USD to get in (first robbery now that I think of it). I left after like 10 minutes. My guys came back to the room like 45 minutes later, saying “you’re right, place sucked, let’s go to sleep.” Within an hour my buddy wakes me up, panicky. Asks where my phone is. I thought he was drunk and left his phone in the cab. As I tell him that, my other buddy sits up in bed and says “my wallet is gone.” I look over at my nightstand and see just my charger, phone gone. Somebody literally climbed up the side of our hotel (3rd floor), came in from our balcony and stole all our phones. Apparently it’s super common there to spray gas like at the dentist under the door to put you to sleep.”
“I didn’t actually get robbed but I think it was an attempt. I was staying in a hotel, not the nicest but not the worst either. I get a knock on my door late at night. Woman outside my door shouted “I have your Uber eats!” I hadn’t ordered anything. I didn’t open the door but looked through the peephole. She wasn’t carrying a bag of anything. I responded “wrong room” and didn’t open the door. She kept banging aggressively and saying she had my food. I kept watching and eventually she gave up and as she walked away she had two guys with her, one on each side of the door just out of view of the peephole. And again, no bag of food. Pretty sure if I had opened the door I would have been mugged.”
“My husband’s wallet was stolen in the metro station in Barcelona. We were on the escalator with suitcases etc, and it stopped abruptly for like 15 seconds. As we lurched forward, they took his wallet and he didn’t feel it. The escalator started again, and he realized it at the top. They were long gone because they had pushed past. I’m from New York and am used to dealing with crowds, but my spidey senses were working overtime on and around Las Ramblas. I couldn’t relax. I didn’t see anything per se, but the hairs on the back of my neck told me to be on high alert over there.”
“At a crowded open air square in France, a guy approached me to take his photo using his phone. It was 55 degrees F in the fall and he had shorts/capris and a short sleeve shirt. I refused to take his picture. But here is what I’ve heard about this extortion. He has you take his phone to take a photo so he backs up for the photo and then says he wants to get closer to the statue/church/object. So he backs up until he gets lost in the crowd. All of a sudden a woman approaches you, grabs the phone/wrist and says “my phone, you have my phone”. She then unlocks the phone and shows you the wallpaper is a picture of her. There you are in a crowded area with what appears to be a woman’s phone. She then calls you a thief and says she will tell the police or yell if you do not give her money etc. If you are a single man, do not take a photo for a single adult male traveler in such a place. I’ve taken photos for couples but never for strange men, especially when they don’t seem dressed properly. Like I said, 55F and he didn’t have a jacket or pants. lol”
“In Peru we stayed with a friend’s family most of the time. But they warned us to not leave valuables in the hotel room when we went out for the day, despite pickpocketing being a massive issue there.”
Bastimentos Island, Panama
Next he starts jacking up the car and I’m just watching him. He proceeds to loosen all the lug nuts. Then he asks me to come over and points at the jack, he says the car needs to be jacked up more, can you do that. I say sure and I get on my knees to start jacking up the car. A couple seconds later he says give me one minute, I’ll be right back. Cool I think, he’ll be right back.So I’m jacking up the car and then I hear the car door on the other side of the car quietly shut. I see that’s it not my wife, she’s still watching traffic.
I look up just in time to see this man running off with our bags and he jumps into a get away car that pulled up for him and they speed off. They managed to steal both of our wallets, my passport (which I never carry on me except this time I had to to pick up the rental car and we went straight to this beach), our AirBnB key and her cellphone but somehow missed my phone thank goodness.”
“My mother’s purse was stolen at the train station in Prague. A guy dressed as a businessman had sat down briefly next to her and took it while she was distracted by her coffee. There were cops standing right there and I told them about it and they just shrugged. There was a language barrier, but frankly, Prague is just corrupt and they were probably in on it.”
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