If you’re traveling to a new place or simply spending time in a big city, there’s a chance that you may encounter criminals. Some thieves prefer to use overt threats of violence and mug their victims. Others are more subtle, employing stealth to quietly grab your wallet or purse while you’re distracted.
Some of the most devious criminals will steal from you without you even realizing it. They earn your confidence through involved, complicated scams and convince you to willingly give them money. How can you avoid these con men? Here are our tips.
It’s human nature to want to make friends, especially when you’re in a new place. You’re out at a bar, having a few drinks, and you want to meet new people. This is understandable!
However, if you’re alone or with a small group of other people from out of town, it’s best to avoid getting too chummy with strangers. It’s hard to tell the difference between a friendly stranger and a potential con artist who wants your wallet.
Be wary of anyone who wants to show you around town or offer you advice on places you should visit. These are often people eager to shuttle you into compromising situations in which you could lose your money.
Don’t go around talking about how much money you plan to spend on your vacation or business trip. You don’t need people overhearing that you plan to blow through hundreds of dollars to have a good time. When con artists hear this kind of talk, they get excited and consider you an easy mark.
Likewise, be wary of carrying physical signifiers of wealth in an unfamiliar setting. Criminals could spot the bills in your wallet or the watch on your wrist and single you out for their schemes.
The best protection against criminals is having friends around. It’s one thing for a con artist to fool you into handing over money for a fake watch or rare violin, but it’s much harder for a criminal to pull one over on you and several of your friends. If you stick with people who know the area, or people who don’t get easily excited, you should be fine.
Remember, just keep your money to yourself. Friendly strangers offering a chance for you to get rich are almost always just trying to steal from you. They don’t have something valuable and they don’t really want to be your friend. They just want your money.