“F*ck…seriously”?! That was my first reaction at the crowded Chinatown market in Kuala Lumpur after I realised my wallet was stolen. “How did it happen? Was it the guy who was bumping in to me or was it the older man who was trying to sell me fake watches”? To be honest, I still don’t know. What I do know is that I felt pretty humiliated. How can I have been so stupid, that I let someone steal my wallet?
The fact is that most pickpockets are like magicians. There really quick, often work in groups and most of the time have a ton of experience. Still, there are several things you can do to prevent being mugged.
Tip 1: Don’t act like a mobster, count your money in a private area
Counting money publicly also advertises its presence and its location. So count your money in a private area like your hotel room.
Tip 2: Use your holy front pocket
Keeping your wallet in your back pocket makes it a lot easier for pickpockets to rob you. Store your wallet in your front pocket, especially when you enter crowded places.
Tip 3: Don’t carry too much cash on you
The oldest but probably best trick in the book. It isn’t going to prevent you from being mugged, but it sure makes it less painful.
Tip 4: Do not act like a tourist?! Yeah, right….
When you ask people what you can do to prevent being mugged you often hear: “Do not act like a tourist”. In my opinion this is impossible (unless you're a talented Hollywood actor). How can a tall blond guy blend in among small Asians in a crowed place like a Chinatown market? Anyway, what you can do though, is try not to act like a clueless tourist. Don’t wear (correction: never wear) silly tourist t-shirts from Planet Hollywood or I love Amsterdam. This tourist merchandise is like waving a red flag to pickpockets.
Tip 5: Trust your instincts
Finally, trust your instincts. Your intuition will tell you when something is wrong. Don't wait until it's too late: when in doubt, stop walking, put your hands in your pockets or on your purse, and move away from the crowd.
I hope these tips will help you enjoy your wallet even longer. If you have any additional tips, let me know!