10 Keys to avoid having your wallet stolen

In our wallets, besides money, we carry a significant number of important documents such as identification, bank cards, club or establishment membership cards, and more. Therefore, losing our wallet not only implies an economic loss for our personal finances but also represents an incredible waste of time having to report the theft to the police and subsequently obtain duplicates for each document, card, or membership.

That’s why it is crucial to take appropriate precautions to prevent such situations while being out on the street. Here are the 10 fundamental keys to avoid having your wallet stolen in public:


1. Keep your wallet in an inner pocket

Whenever you are out on the street, always keep your wallet in an inner pocket that remains hidden and inaccessible to potential pickpockets in the area. By doing so, you significantly reduce the risk of theft. Even if someone knows where your wallet is, they won’t be able to take it since it is securely stored inside.

During winter, it’s relatively easy to find garments with inner pockets (coats, jackets, vests, etc.), but it might be more challenging in the summer due to the heat. In such cases, you can opt for pants that have a non-concealed outer pocket with a manual zipper or button closure. Additionally, if possible, you could wear a loose-fitting shirt that covers the pocket and keeps it hidden from view. This way, you minimize the risk of becoming a victim of theft.


2. Use an anti-theft backpack

If you carry more than just your wallet, it would be highly recommended to use an anti-theft backpack and keep your wallet inside it. These types of backpacks have all their zipper openings located at the back. When you wear the backpack, all the openings are against your back, making it impossible for anyone to access its contents without removing it.

Therefore, you only need to be cautious when sitting at a public place or on public transport to prevent it from being stolen. As long as you have it on, you won’t be at risk.

If you find this option interesting, you can check the following link for an affordable anti-theft backpack with high-quality finishes and a great design.


3. Be aware of your surroundings

You should always be aware of the areas you find yourself in since not all places are the same. Some areas pose a higher risk, with a higher number of pickpockets.

In general, you must take extra precautions in troubled neighborhoods with high unemployment rates (where some people may resort to theft or begging) and in tourist areas, as tourists are the primary targets for pickpockets (they often carry a significant amount of money and are somewhat distracted).

Furthermore, when it’s dark, try to walk through well-populated and well-lit areas since the presence of other people and proper lighting act as effective deterrents against theft.


4. Beware of crowded places

Pickpockets mainly operate in large crowds that occur at events like festivals or in public transportation, taking advantage of human contact and pushing to steal without being noticed. It may seem unbelievable, but in such situations, if we don’t have our wallet well secured, it can be stolen without us even realizing it. Therefore, we should always try to avoid crowded places or exercise extra caution when in them.


5. Don’t keep public transportation tickets in your wallet

A basic trick used by pickpockets on buses or subways is to observe how people take out their tickets from their wallets at the entrance. This way, they know exactly where each person keeps their wallet, and when they spot an easy target, they follow them until they can steal it.

For this reason, it is advisable to keep your public transportation pass in a different place than your wallet. To protect it, you can use a protective plastic cover that prevents it from bending or getting damaged.


6. Stay sober and accompanied at night

If you go out partying at night, you can become an ideal target for criminals if you don’t take precautions. Firstly, drink in moderation and avoid getting intoxicated to the point where you lose awareness of your surroundings. Secondly, try to always go out with someone else as it will help you avoid many potential problems.

Additionally, stick to well-lit and busy streets, avoiding dimly lit and deserted side streets.


7. Avoid scams and tricks

Be extremely cautious of strange situations where unfamiliar individuals approach you on the street with any excuse (asking for help, asking for directions, offering a gift, etc.) to divert your attention elsewhere. They may be part of an organized gang, where one person distracts you, another steals from you, and another quickly escapes with the stolen items.


8. Carry only what is necessary

Carry only the essential items in your wallet, especially when traveling to an unfamiliar country. Consider if it’s necessary to carry all the documents, cards, and memberships stored in your wallet, and be aware of the significant problem it can cause if you lose it or it gets stolen. Additionally, carry a reasonable amount of cash for your planned expenses or emergencies.

Whenever possible, use your card instead of cash for two reasons:

  1. We can immediately cancel the card: In the event of theft, we can quickly block our cards by contacting our bank or using our bank’s mobile application. However, if we carry cash and it gets stolen, it’s unlikely we will ever recover it.
  2. We can dispute incorrect or fraudulent charges: If there are errors in the charged amount, duplicate charges, or fraudulent payments, we can always dispute them with our bank, even if the transactions were made abroad and we realize it after returning home. However, once we have paid in cash, unless we have a receipt, it will be challenging to rectify the error.

By adopting these simple behaviors, you can minimize economic losses and save time when requesting duplicates in case of theft.


9. Distribute your money

If you carry a significant amount of cash, it is advisable to distribute it among multiple individuals rather than having one person carry the entire amount. Additionally, each person can store money in two or more different places.

This way, if a theft occurs, the losses can be minimized as you will have only lost a small portion of the total cash you were carrying.


10. Have a backup plan

Always have a backup plan in case of theft to ensure access to money if needed. Be aware that running out of money while traveling can leave you stranded in a foreign place without any means of transportation. The main resources to address such extreme situations include:

  • Having cash stored in another location.
  • Having a contactless bank card installed on your mobile phone. This way, if you haven’t lost your phone, you can use it for transactions as if it were a physical bank card.
  • Going to establishments that offer money transfer services. There, by contacting a family member or friend, they can send you money instantly, and you can withdraw it in cash.
  • Visiting second-hand shops where you can sell something of value (mobile phone, watch, jewelry) for immediate cash.


How to react if your wallet is stolen?

If someone steals your wallet on the street, remain calm at all times. Essentially, you may encounter two situations:

  • You notice it immediately and can identify the pickpockets: Shout and alert the police immediately, criticizing the actions of the pickpockets. This may cause the criminals to drop your wallet and flee in fear of being caught or facing retaliation from you or other bystanders. If they physically confront you, remember that your physical well-being is the priority and is more important than any amount of money you may lose. Therefore, avoid physical confrontation.
  • You realize the theft but are unsure of how or when it happened: It is advisable to file a police report since you will likely need it to request duplicates of your documents or cards, as well as to utilize any theft insurance coverage you may have. Additionally, filing a report can help the police apprehend the thief and potentially recover your money.


Conclusion to prevent wallet theft

Losing your wallet not only means losing a significant amount of money but also entails a considerable amount of time and effort to recover everything that was stolen, including cards, documents, and more. Therefore, it is important to take precautions and apply the aforementioned advice.

It’s not necessary to implement all the tips mentioned; simply applying the ones that are most useful to your daily life and personal situation will greatly reduce the risk of theft.

If you enjoyed this article on the best tricks to prevent wallet theft, you may also find our article on the best tricks to prevent mobile phone theft highly interesting. Don’t miss our article “10 Tips to prevent mobile phone theft”.