Photo by Harold Navarro/Flicker CC
Purse snatching is one of the #1 scams that people who are traveling fall victim to. It can be so easy to get distracted by one’s surroundings and to have your purse or bag stolen. I live in Mexico, and just last week, a woman walking down the sidewalk had someone driving by in a car try to snatch her purse off her arm! The other scam that many robbers use is to slash the straps of your purse as they walk or drive by and take off with it. They have especially targeted people with other bags or luggage in their hands. Many times the person whose bag was stolen will drop their other items to purse the robber, and an accomplice will come by and steal the other items.
If you carry a purse, the best thing to do to prevent purse snatching is to always carry it on your inside arm when walking down the street or a sidewalk. You can also shorten the strap on your purse to carry it between your elbow and your body. If you are wearing a coat, you can also carry your purse underneath your coat. Also, it’s best not to carry your cash, credit cards, or any valuables in your purse. It’s best to carry these items in an inside pocket or money belt. A backpack is also a safer bet than a purse as long as you carry it around both shoulders.
Pacsafe also makes great bags with security features such as RFID protection that will block high-tech identity thieves from downloading the personal info that is stored on the micro chips in your passport and credit cards. They are slash proof on the strap and bag itself with a locking device to secure to a chair or table when dining, and they have a locking zipper.
Often times, purse snatching occurs when a person isn’t paying attention in cafes or restaurants. It’s a good idea if you are setting your purse on the floor, to put your chair leg in the middle of the strap, so no one can run off with it.
By following these tips, you should be able to avoid purse snatching and slashing and be able to keep your belongings safe.