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11 Reasons You Were Robbed While Traveling

Updated on February 8, 2017

There is no shortage of stories of people being robbed while traveling. Maybe you know someone who experienced this or perhaps it happened to you. Unfortunately, the only way to guarantee you will not be robbed while traveling is to not travel. Else, you must accept that anything can happen when your traveling.

There are several reasons why you or someone you know may have been robbed while traveling, or several factors that increase your likelihood of being robbed. Being aware of these factors, and more importantly, making an effort to avoid them, can help minimize your chances of being robbed during your travels.

1) You're A Tourist

One of the main reasons why people get robbed while traveling is simply because they are a tourist. Thieves know that many tourists don't know what to do in the event they are robbed and associate them with large sums of cash and credit cards. Try not to stand out as a tourist. One way to do this is by observing the locals and mimicking their behavior. And, before you leave home, be sure to get the international number to call in the event you have to cancel a lost or stolen credit card.

2) You're Sightseeing

As a tourist, you are likely going to do some sightseeing. Sightseeing is great ... unfortunately, it is also a great way to get distracted, making you an easy target for thieves. Enjoy sightseeing, but remain aware of what is going on around you and of your possessions.

3) Your Eyes Are Glued To Your Phone

A data plan can make your phone or tablet a wonderful travel tool, but if your eyes are glued to a screen, you are broadcasting a message to thieves that says "I'm distracted." Rather than using your electronic device in a crowded area, consider finding a quiet establishment, such as a cafe and using it there.

4) You're Lost

Being unfamiliar with an area can increase your chances of running into trouble. Before you travel, research your destination. Or, when you arrive at your hotel or hostel, ask the staff if you have questions about a particular area of town. If you do find yourself in an area that makes you uncomfortable, remain calm, turn around and re-trace your steps.

5) You Look Nervous

Body language is extremely important. Regardless of how you may feel, be sure to walk with confidence. And, since thieves typically don't want to be seen, try to make eye contact with people.

6) You're Overdressed

There's nothing wrong with looking nice when you travel but if you are dressed like you have money, thieves are going to assume you have money.

Do you wear your engagement ring when you travel?

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7) Your Engagement Ring Is Eye Catching

When trying to reduce your chances of being robbed while traveling, an "eye catching" engagement ring is not a compliment. Consider leaving your engagement ring at home when you travel, or at the very least, securing it in a hotel room safe while you are sightseeing.

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8) Your Wallet Is Easy To Grab

Most thieves seek 'opportunity' as opposed to 'challenge'. If your wallet is tossed into a purse that dangles away from your body or worse, in a purse that doesn't close, or if you keep your wallet in your back pocket, you are presenting thieves with an opportunity. Consider traveling with a money belt.

9) You're Traveling With Children

When you travel with your children, they will understandably be your top priority. Knowing your attention is divided, thieves see you as an easy target.

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10) You Were Scammed

Scam artists love tourists. In addition to familiarizing yourself with common travel scams while you are planning your vacation, it is important to exercise common sense and to trust your instincts.

11) You Were In The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time

While there are many things tourists do that increase their likelihood of being robbed, sometimes it boils down to 'bad luck'.

If you do get robbed while traveling, remain calm. You are not the first tourist to get robbed and you won't be the last. Do what you have to do - cancel your credit cards, work on obtaining a new passport, fill out a police report for insurance purposes, sort out your finances, and continue to make the most of your trip.

© 2015 M


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    • carrie Lee Night profile image

      Carrie Lee Night 

      11 months ago from Northeast United States

      Good info :) I also tip well when traveling. Now this may seem to draw attention to be robbed, but when done discretly, locals may be more likely to look out for you because you are looking out for them :). I also am aware what costs extra if I am going on a tour etc. Like a special local fee. I had this happen on a tour and they collected a manatory "local fee" which they said helps financially the local people. It was not robbery per se but it did suprise us and our local guides just told us to pay the small fee. I was more than happy to oblige weather it was right or wrong because i was a guest to their local ruins. It does not hurt to be generous because most who rob live in poverty , does not make it excusable but I am not in their shoes.

    • SgtCecil profile image

      Cecil Kenmill 

      17 months ago from Osaka, Japan

      Great info but you forgot the most important reason: you went to a "risky" country/city/state/whatever. There's no reason to avoid this topic. We always have to keep our eyes open but more so in some places than others. The State Department even has a list! Once, I went to a wonderful country where I had a great time but I got scammed 2x there. It wasn't big money and it didn't ruin my trip but I remembered a valuable lesson I learned elsewhere: Stay alert, stay alive.


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