Home TIPS Travel Safety: Carry Fake Wallet For Fooling Thieves
Travel Safety: Carry Fake Wallet For Fooling Thieves PDF Print E-mail

Many of our senior travelers have slowed down physically over the years. As tourists in some cities, they're too often the most vulnerable to fast-moving pickpockets. They need to find ways to avoid being victims of these crimes.

The thieves, male and female, kid and adult, sometimes operate singly where people are crowded together, such as in city squares, tour groups, airports, concert halls and bus stations. There are also gangs, often kids who surround a tourist asking for money. Then, in the confusion swipe wallets, pocketbooks, cell phones and other easy-picking items. According to smartertravel.com, the top five European cities for these grab-and-run thieves are Barcelona, Rome, Paris, Madrid and Athens. In Asia, it happens most frequently in Hong Kong and Bangkok. In the Americas, Mexico City and Buenos Aires lead the nasty rip-off-tourist industry. Of course, it can also happen in any big U.S. city where crowds and tourists gather.

We recommend the use of cheap dummy wallets and purses when touring in a crowded city scene. Carry it or a money clip, and allow some small-denomination bills to peek out. Use it to pay for inexpensive items at food stands and other shopping. If you feel charitable, use it also to give a few bills to begging kids and adults.

Then, if a thief snatches it away from you, or a pickpocket gets it when you’re not aware, or you’re confronted by a mugger, it isn’t too disastrous. The most you’ll lose will be just a few low-value bills and a cheap wallet or purse. It may be a disappointment for hard-working thieve, but a relief for senior tourists.

Stay in-the-know about the latest Sports, Life, Money, Tech, and Travel stories. You'll get your first 2 months of USA TODAY for $25 (charged monthly). All print subscribers receive the e-Newspaper included with their subscription.