If you are planning to head to WebSummit in Lisbon in November, this article will help keep you and your valuables safe. Pickpocketing is basically the action stealing of money or other valuables from the person of a victim without them noticing the theft at the time. It is one of the most common forms of theft of personal belongings you are likely to experience regardless of if you are travelling solo or in a group.
Recently, the US Department of State released a report advising travellers to be particularly cautious with their belongings in areas like Oriente and also near some bus stations. Wallets and smartphones are particularly vulnerable to pickpocketing in these areas and crime reporting typically increases during the summer, primarily due to the increase in overseas visitors.
Pickpocketing in the Lisbon area is most likely to occur in buses, hotel lobbies, restaurants, the airport, trains, train stations, and trams. Take special care in the Oriente, Santa Apolonia, Entrecampos, Marques do Pombal, and Rossio metro and train stations, the Sete Rios bus station, the Alfama, Martim Moniz, Baixa, and Bairro Alto districts, and the tourist area of Belém. The 28 Tram is particularly notorious for pickpocketing. Visitors should pay very close attention to all their belongings while waiting for or riding on the 28 Tram. Surreptitious purse snatchings occur in restaurants and bars from bags left on the backs of or underneath chairs.
How to avoid being pickpocketed?
1) Carry your backpack on the front of your body
Forget fashion for a moment and focus on function. Backpacks make you vulnerable to pickpocketing because anyone can open them without you being aware. If you’re wandering through the beautiful markets or crowded spaces at Lisbon or at the bus station, place your backpack in front of your body so it looks like you’re wearing a Baby Bjorn infant holder instead.
2) Don’t flash your tech gadgets!
The iPhone X might be the ultimate lifestyle accessory, however, in Lisbon, you should keep in your pocket or handbag. Crowded trains or buses and platforms are a pickpocket’s paradise so be certain to secure your valuables well away before you hit the platforms. Instead, keep all your stuff safely in your purse/backpack. Also be careful with your pockets that don’t have secure closures. Open pockets make it easier for the thief to discretely steal your smart phone.
3) If you feel someone is getting too close, make some noise.
This applies especially to people who can get pickpocketed on the train or subway. If you feel like someone is getting too close to you or moving at the same time as you in the same direction, try to maintain your distance and an official. Scream if necessary or use our WanderSafe personal safety device to bring attention that you are in danger.
While Lisbon is full of beautiful places to go and it’s also home to the WebSubmmit, use caution to avoid this type of felony. Actually, it occurs a lot to tourists in the area so beware.
We’d love to hear your safety tip for Lisbon or a pickpocketing tale? Please feel free to leave a comment below or take a moment and leave us a travel tip HERE.